It’s very difficult to write this update, but the body believed to be that of 5-year-old Taliyah Marsman was found by investigators in a field late yesterday. The suspect Calgary police had in custody since Wednesday night has now been officially charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Taliyah and her mother, 34-year-old Sara Baillie. You can read my prior posts about this case HERE.
Police announced yesterday that they were searching a rural area east of Chestermere after obtaining new evidence in the investigation. The body was discovered just after 7 PM MST Thursday.
The suspect, 46-year-old Edward Delten Downey, has an “extensive criminal history” according to police, and was a family friend of Sara and Taliyah.
From The Calgary Herald:
Insp. Don Coleman of the major crimes unit said he believes Taliyah was dead before the frantic search to find her began.
“We were hoping for another outcome, and worked hard for another outcome,” Coleman said.
“Clearly, by the timeline, there was nothing we could do.”
Searchers located the remains off of roadway eight kilometres east of Chestermere, off McKnight Boulevard, in a rural field with some storage or grain bins.
— Jocelyn Laidlaw (@CTVJLaidlaw) July 15, 2016
Inspector Coleman said they believe Taliyah was alive when a witness saw her and a “stocky black male” believed to be Downey at 11:30 AM Monday morning. What happened after that is what they are still trying to figure out.
Coleman said they believe that Baillie may have been the intended target.
An autopsy on Taliyah’s body is scheduled for tomorrow.
Downey will remain in police custody until his next court appearance, on July 20.
Below is the full press conference about the discovery of Taliyah’s body and the charges against Downey:
– Body Believed to be that of Missing Calgary Girl Taliyah Leigh Marsman Found
– Taliyah Marsman likely dead before search began, police say
– Calgary family, police ‘devastated’ as charges laid in deaths of Taliyah Marsman, mother