An Amber Alert issued for a Blairmore, Alberta child after her father was murdered has ended in tragedy. It has been confirmed that Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette has been found deceased and a suspect in both the homicide and kidnapping is in custody.
The Amber Alert was issued around 11:15 in the morning after a relative came to the Blanchette home, where Hailey resided with her father, and found Terry Blanchette stabbed to death. Neighbors reported hearing a child scream around 3:30 in the morning and described seeing a newer model white van with a large rear antenna with a flag attached fleeing the scene. A search of the area was immediately conducted in case Hailey was hiding in the area, but no trace of her was found and the Amber Alert was issued three hours later. The Amber Alert covered not only Alberta, but British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and the nearby state of Montana.
Just as Blairmore, Alberta citizens gathered in a candlelight vigil for Hailey, word was received that the Amber Alert had been called off and “human remains” had been found that were believed to be those of the girl.
At the time she went missing, Hailey lived alternating periods of two weeks with her mother, Cheyenne Dunbar, and her father. Terry Blanchette had a past criminal record, but friends and family described him as a doting father and have said they have no idea who would want to murder him.
The RMCP responded to criticism over the length of time between the discovery of Blanchette’s body and the issuing of the Amber Alert by saying that certain protocol had to be followed and a search was immediately conducted. It was possible that Hailey had “just wandered away,” according to RCMP Supt. Tony Hamori.
The suspect is described as a 22-year-old male. No further information has been officially released, but sources have told the Alberta media that the suspect is Derek Saretsky. He was reportedly involved in a romantic relationship with the mother of the subject of the Amber Alert, Cheyenne Dunbar. It is unknown if this is related to the homicide. The RCMP have refused to comment on whether Dunbar is being investigated in regards to the murders. It has been reported that Terry Blanchette was supposed to return his daughter to her mother In Edmonton, Alberta the day before he was murdered and the Amber Alert for his daughter was issued.
[Images via National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]