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Taliyah Marsman timeline: The disappearance of a 5-year-old Calgary girl

Posted by on 24/02/2019

Update: The Amber Alert for Taliyah Leigh Marsman has been cancelled after a body was located

The search for missing five-year-old Taliyah Leigh Marsman came to a heart-breaking conclusion July 14 after police found her body in a rural area just east of Calgary city limits.

Calgary police have charged 46-year-old Edward Delten Downey with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Taliyah Marsman and her mother, Sara Baillie.

WATCH: Father of missing five-year-old Taliyah Leigh Marsman speaks exclusively to Global News 

Sara Baillie, 34, was found dead by police on the evening of July 11 in her Panorama Hills home. Police ruled her death a homicide but have not released details on the cause of death.

Five-year-old Marsman, the subject of an Alberta-wide Amber Alert for 3 days, was located near Chestermere, Alta. on Thursday. But police believe she was killed just hours after her mother.

Here is a timeline of events surrounding the disappearance of Taliyah Marsman:

Monday July 11

An Amber Alert was issued for five-year-old Taliyah Leigh Marsman who is believed to have been abducted in the early morning hours of July 12, 2016.

COURTESY: Calgary Police Service

Police were called to the home of Sara Baillie and her daughter, Taliyah Leigh Marsman, in the northwest Calgary neighbourhood of Panorama Hills around 8:30 p.m. MT after family members became concerned because Baillie didn’t show up for work and stopped answering calls.

Police found Baillie’s body and no sign of her daughter. Police said there didn’t appear to be any sign of forced entry at the home.

WATCH: Calgary Amber Alert and suspicious death are linked

ChangSha Night Net

“At this point, it’s still early in the investigation,” Insp. Don Coleman of the Calgary Police Service Major Crimes said. “We’re not ruling out anybody as a suspect, and we’re looking at all avenues.”

“We’ve looked at and spoken to several family members,” he added.

Police said they have been in contact with Baillie’s estranged husband Colin Evan Marsman, 36, who has been co-operating with the investigation. Global News confirmed Marsman, also known as Colin Paris, is originally from Halifax.

The couple were known to police for a history of domestic-violence related calls. According to court documents obtained by Global News, Baillie feared that Marsman could cause her personal injury. In February 2015, Marsman was charged with unlawful confinement of Baillie, and threatened the use of violence to prevent her from calling police.

Tuesday July 12

RAW: Calgary police hold update on Amber Alert

09:58

RAW: Calgary police hold update on Amber Alert

01:50

Amber Alert issued for Taliyah Leigh Marsman

00:24

Facebook video of Amber Alert subject Taliyah Leigh Marsman

02:59

Calgary police admit there was history of domestic violence in Amber Alert case



Calgary police issue an Alberta-wide Amber Alert for Taliyah Leigh Marsman shortly after 1:30 a.m. MT.

The young girl is described as having a slim build, curly brown hair and blue eyes. Police say she was last seen by a family member at around 11:30 a.m. MT on Sunday.

Family members of the missing Calgary girl issue an emotional plea begging for the safe release of the “vivacious, wonderful” five-year-old.

Family of Taliyah Leigh Marsman describes what kind of person she was

02:27

Family of Taliyah Leigh Marsman describes what kind of person she was

01:38

Taliyah Leigh Marsman’s uncle makes public plea for her return

02:24

Calgary police: Somebody out there knows where Taliyah Leigh Marsman is

00:26

Instagram video shows Taliyah Leigh Marsman riding bike

03:05

Amber Alert: Alberta family plead for return of Taliyah Marsman

04:46

Family pleads for safe return of 5-year-old Taliyah Marsman



“We love her, we miss her, and we want her back,” Scott Hamilton, the Baillie’s uncle, said during a news conference as other relatives wept beside him.  “Drop her off at an RCMP station, Calgary Police Service station, or grocery store, gas station, wherever you want. Contact the family, we’ll come and pick her up. There will be no questions asked.”

At a news conference Tuesday, police were questioned why an Amber Alert wasn’t issued until five hours after police discovered the death of Taliya’s mother.

Insp. Don Coleman said certain criteria has to be met for an Amber Alert to be issued.

“Once we satisfy that criteria through the investigation, then we make the decision to put out an Amber Alert,” Coleman said.

Police say they don’t have any information to suggest that the little girl is outside of Calgary. Edmonton police confirmed to Global News Wednesday they had not been asked to assist.

Wednesday July 13

AMBER ALERT: Witnesses observe female matching Taliyah Marsman description with unknow male

01:07

AMBER ALERT: Witnesses observe female matching Taliyah Marsman description with unknow male

02:31

Amber Alert for Taliyah Leigh Marsman continues

02:31

Amber Alert for Taliyah Marsman enters second day

01:50

Friends, family continue to hope for Taliyah Marsman’s safe return

02:09

Taliyah Marsmans godmother speaks to media



Calgary police say they want to speak with a family seen speaking with homicide victim Sara Baillie and her missing daughter at a Dairy Queen on Sunday evening.

Police released images at a news conference taken from surveillance video at the DQ restaurant, at 66 Sandarac Dr. N.W., around 5:30 p.m. MT.

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Calgary Police released images from CCTV footage captured the previous Sunday around 5:30 p.m. They show the victim, Sara Baillie, and her daughter, Taliyah Marsman, at the Dairy Queen restaurant, located at 66 Sandarac Dr. N.W.

Calgary Police

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Calgary Police released images from CCTV footage captured the previous Sunday around 5:30 p.m. They show the victim, Sara Baillie, and her daughter, Taliyah Marsman, at the Dairy Queen restaurant, located at 66 Sandarac Dr. N.W.

Calgary Police

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Calgary Police released images from CCTV footage captured the previous Sunday around 5:30 p.m. They show the victim, Sara Baillie, and her daughter, Taliyah Marsman, at the Dairy Queen restaurant, located at 66 Sandarac Dr. N.W.

Calgary Police

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Calgary Police released images from CCTV footage captured the previous Sunday around 5:30 p.m. They show the victim, Sara Baillie, and her daughter, Taliyah Marsman, at the Dairy Queen restaurant, located at 66 Sandarac Dr. N.W.

Calgary Police

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Calgary Police released images from CCTV footage captured the previous Sunday around 5:30 p.m. They show the victim, Sara Baillie, and her daughter, Taliyah Marsman, at the Dairy Queen restaurant, located at 66 Sandarac Dr. N.W.

Calgary Police

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Calgary Police released images from CCTV footage captured the previous Sunday around 5:30 p.m. They show the victim, Sara Baillie, and her daughter, Taliyah Marsman, at the Dairy Queen restaurant, located at 66 Sandarac Dr. N.W.

Calgary Police

On Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Calgary Police released images from CCTV footage captured the previous Sunday around 5:30 p.m. They show the victim, Sara Baillie, and her daughter, Taliyah Marsman, at the Dairy Queen restaurant, located at 66 Sandarac Dr. N.W.

Calgary Police

Coleman said the footage appears to suggest Baillie knew the family because she waved and chatted with them on the way in and on the way out of the restaurant.

He added that witnesses in the Panorama Hills neighbourhood reported seeing a little girl matching Taliyah’s description walking with a stocky, black male on Monday morning. The girl was wearing red or pink boots with white polka dots and was carrying a reddish-coloured suitcase.

WATCH: Calgary police release surveillance footage of Taliyah Marsman and mother Sara Baillie

Police have ruled Baillie’s death as a homicide but have not given a cause of death.

Also on Wednesday, Taliyah’s father, Colin Marsman, issued a statement pleading for anyone with information to come forward.

“Please, it’s never too late to do the right thing! If you even think you might have seen something that could be a clue, let your local law enforcement know immediately,” he said.

Neighbours, friends and family drop off flowers and cards in tribute to Sarah and will messages of hope for the safe return of Taliyah Marsman at a memorial outside the home on Panamount Drive N.W.

A suspect was taken into custody by the Calgary Police Homicide Unit at 10:30 p.m. MT.

Thursday July 14

Police search an area east of Calgary for Taliyah Marsman

Dani Lantela (Global News)

Calgary police confirm they detained a man late Wednesday night in connection with Taliyah’s disappearance. Sources identified the man as Edward Downey to Global News.

Police could be seen searching a rural area northeast of Chestermere, which is 20 kilometres east of Calgary, “for evidence in relation to the case,” based on new information, according to a statement from police.

WATCH: Father of missing five-year-old Taliyah Leigh Marsman speaks exclusively to Global News 

On Thursday morning, police released pictures of a grey sedan that was being driven in the Panorama Hills area around the time Taliyah was last seen.

In an exclusive interview with Global News, Colin Marsman said he has been cooperating with police, speaking with them on an hourly basis but didn’t have further information about the man in custody.

“I don’t know who that is or anything. I’m working closely with the police and I stay in contact with them every hour,” he said.

WATCH: Crews continue to search for Taliyah Marsman, 5, near Chestermere

Marsman said he was praying for his daughter’s safe return.

“Just to tell her that daddy loves her, and I’m here, and I’m waiting for her to come back home and I’m praying,” he said. “I believe that I’m going to see her soon, and I just can’t wait to see my daughter.”

Late Thursday night, Calgary police charged 46-year-old Edward Delten Downey with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Taliyah Leigh Marsman and her mother, Sara Baillie.

Global News has learned Edward Downey faces two charges of first-degree murder in relation to Taliyah Leigh Marsman and Sara Baillie’s deaths.

Global News

READ MORE: Who is Edward Downey? Man charged with first degree murder in Taliyah Marsman’s death

The charges came after Calgary police said a body believed to be that of five-year-old Marsman, the subject of an Alberta-wide Amber Alert, was located near Chestermere, Alta. on Thursday.

“The family is devastated,” Insp. Don Coleman said during a press conference.

Global News has learned Downey has prior convictions for trafficking cocaine.

READ MORE: Man charged with Sara Baillie, Taliyah Marsman murders didn’t pose ‘undue risk’, says parole board

Investigators believe that Taliyah had already been killed before police were first called.

“There was nothing we could do before we even got involved,” Coleman said.

Tuesday July 19

Family of Baillie and Taliyah broke their silence and spoke to Global News about the devastating loss. Both Sara’s mother, Janet Fredette (Taliyah’s grandmother), and Sara’s brother, Michael Baillie (Taliyah’s uncle), shared some of their favourite memories.

Wednesday July 20

Downey appeared in court via CCTV and his case was put over to Aug. 3. Defence lawyer Gavin Wolch spoke to media outside the Calgary Courts Centre, saying he and his father, high-profile defence lawyer Hersh Wolch, are in the process of being retained by Downey.

READ MORE: Edward Downey appears in Calgary court

Thursday July 21

A celebration of life will be held for Baillie and Taliyah in Calgary, which will include tributes from loved ones. Before the ceremony starts, Baillie’s mother (Taliyah’s grandmother) will speak to media.

READ MORE: Family of Taliyah Marsman, Sara Baillie speak of loss – ‘they’ll always be in our hearts’

*With files from Nancy Hixt, Phil Heidenreich, Karen Bartko, Melissa Gilligan, Sarah Offin and Reid Feist

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