A Calgary man has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of five-year-old Taliyah Marsman and her mother Sara Baillie and will remain in police custody until he appears in court next week.
Edward Delten Downey, 46, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and was arrested Wednesday evening at a strip mall in the 3300 block of 32 Avenue N.E.
“The person we had in custody over the course of the last 24 hours has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder,” said CPS Inspector Don Coleman. “The charge of first-degree murder would speak to some level of premeditation or planning.”
On Monday, police were called to Baillie’s home on Panamount Boulevard N.W. after she failed to turn up for work and family members were unable to reach her.
The 34-year-old was found dead and an AMBER Alert was issued for her daughter Taliyah, who was abducted from the home.
Police spent several days searching a number of locations and discovered the body of the little girl in a rural area east of Calgary on Thursday evening and the AMBER Alert was cancelled.
“I can tell you that the timeline of events through the investigation would suggest that the entire, both events occurred prior to police involvement on Monday. We were contacted about 8:30 when Sara was reported overdue and we believe that this incident had concluded some time that afternoon,” said Coleman.
The cause of Taliyah's death has not been determined and an autopsy is expected to be completed on Friday.
Police believe Downey knew Baillie and Taliyah but the motive for the murders remains unclear.
“We believe that Mr. Downey is known to both or all three, Sara, Taliyah and the father, Colin, we believe that to be the case,” said Coleman. “I don’t know the level of trust there would have been there but I believe they’re known, definitely known to Sara and Taliyah.”
Police and the Forensics Unit were at a townhouse complex in the Skyview Ranch area on Friday morning searching what is believed to be Downey’s home.
Investigators say he has an extensive criminal history and is providing ‘limited cooperation’ in the investigation.
Downey is expected to appear in court on the charges on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.