COLEMAN, Alta. — The mayor of the Crowsnest Pass in southwestern Alberta hopes a public memorial today for a father and daughter killed last month will help residents come to grips with what happened.
Terry Blanchette, 27, was found dead in his Blairmore home on Sept. 14, and a widespread Amber Alert was issued for two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, who had been abducted earlier that morning.
Her remains were discovered in a rural area the next day.
“It’s really good for our community as part of the grieving process. We have a very strong community and I expect it to be a really good turnout,” said Mayor Blair Painter.
“It’s important that the families know that we are there for them and this is a good way of showing that. It’ll be a sad day.”
The memorial will be held at the local high school.
Despite the fact it has been weeks, the shock hasn’t worn off, said Painter.
“Absolutely not. It’s traumatic for our community. These are the things that just never happen in the Crowsnest Pass. One would never have expected an event like this to happen,” he said.
“It’s affected just about 6,000 people in our community. I hope this does bring some closure.”
Derek Saretzky, 22, is charged with first-degree murder, as well as with committing an indignity to the girl’s body. He is undergoing a 30-day psychiatric assessment and is to be back in court Oct. 29.
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The Canadian Press