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Everything We Know About the Murders of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and Terry Blanchette

A man has been arrested for the murder of a two-year-old Alberta girl and her father.

An Amber Alert that captured nation-wide attention ended in the worst possible result Tuesday night, when the remains of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette were discovered a day after her dad Terry Blanchette, 27, was found murdered in his Blairmore, Alberta home.

Local man Derek James Saretzky, 22, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in their deaths Wednesday morning, as well as one count of committing an indignity to a body—Hailey's body.


"She was smart, beautiful, the greatest child ever," Hailey's mother, Cheyenne Dunbar, 20, told reporters. "I don't know why anybody would do that to her."

Dunbar and Blanchette were together when Hailey was born, on Dec. 31, 2012, but they broke up last year and Dunbar moved to Edmonton. Blanchette stayed in Blairmore, a Rocky Mountain community of about 2,000 located several hours south of Calgary. The pair split custody of their daughter, and, according to Dunbar, got along well.

"We talked about everything. He called me, he texted me, he sent pictures. I sent pictures. It was always back and forth between us," she said. "Terry was an awesome father. He did everything he could for that little girl."

In the very early hours of Monday morning, Blanchette's neighbors heard a noise coming from his property; those who looked outside saw a white van peeling away.

Around 11 AM, Crowsnest Pass RCMP received a report of a sudden death and found Terry Blanchette dead in his home. Three hours later they issued an Amber Alert for Hailey—a slight toddler with straight brown hair and brown eyes—covering Western Canada and Montana.

Dunbar said she heard her daughter was missing on Facebook.

"I had no clue what was going on, I had no clue she was missing, I had no clue what happened to her father," she told the media.

RCMP apprehended a 22-year-old suspect Tuesday and were questioning him in relation to Blanchette's death and Hailey's disappearance.


The Amber Alert remained in effect Wednesday, but at around 9 PM, as community members gathered for a vigil in Hailey's honor, news broke that her remains had been found in a rural area, a few kilometers from Blairmore.

Saretzky was charged the next morning.

Hailey's mother, Dunbar said she had once been close friends with accused murderer Saretzky but "I haven't talked with him in three years."

Speaking to reporters, her father Kevin Dunbar dismissed any possibility of his daughter being linked to the crime.

"She was in Edmonton when all of this happened," he said.

RCMP said Saretzky and Blanchette knew each other but did not provide details on their relationship. Neighbors said they didn't get along.

Blanchette worked as a cook in town, and had a rap sheet that included convictions for minor theft and assault, but had been trying to turn his life around after his daughter was born.

According to reports, Saretzky worked at a dry cleaner in town. He has previously been charged with theft and breaking and entering.

Saretzky's next court date is scheduled for September 23 in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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