The man accused of kidnapping and killing Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette has finally been identified in the media — approximately a day after the missing 2-year-old child’s remains were located. The Calgary Herald reports that 22-year-old Derek James Saretzky has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder after he allegedly stabbed Hailey’s father to death in the family’s home, before kidnapping the tot and murdering her.
Authorities say that Saretzky was an acquaintance of his victims, but they would not clarify on how well he knew the child and her father, or if they were considered “friends.” What is being confirmed is that the man allegedly murdered the man before kidnapping his 2-year-old child. Authorities say he also faces at least one charge of “indignity to a body,” which stems directly from the death of 2-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. This charge is indicative that her remains were treated inappropriately. Authorities aren’t clarifying on the child’s cause of death at this time.
The mother of the slain tot has spoken out to the media, and has admitted that she knew the man accused of killing the girl and her father. Cheyenne Dunbar has also expressed a tremendous amount of grief in the day following the discovery of her child’s remains.
“I’m a mess right now. I didn’t want to even come down here. I’m receiving all the support I can get right now, as much as possible. There’s really nothing anybody can do or say to make me feel any better. I’m going to miss absolutely everything. I’m going to miss her smile. The way she ran around saying Mommy, everything. She was my baby. I don’t know why anybody would do this to her.”
CBC News reports that Derek Saretzky is scheduled to appear in court on September 23, during which time he will be arraigned on the charges of first-degree murder and indignity to the slain child’s body. Police have also seized the white van that was allegedly used in the kidnapping of the slain child.
Court records indicate that the 22-year-old kidnapping/murder suspect has a criminal record spanning as far back as 2012. He was reportedly accused of stealing property and other crimes related to theft. However, there is no publicized proof that he had ever been accused, charged or convicted of any violent crimes or crimes against children. At this time a motive behind the stabbing death of the child’s father is not known. It’s also not known at this time why he kidnapped and murdered the young girl.