Ac­cused knew Taliyah and her par­ents

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - LAU­REN KRUGEL

CAL­GARY — As the fam­ily of a slain woman and her five-year-old daugh­ter strug­gled to come to grips with their “in­con­ceiv­able and sense­less mur­ders,” de­tails emerged Fri­day about the crim­i­nal record dat­ing back 20 years of the man charged in the deaths.

Court records show Ed­ward Del­ten Downey was con­victed in 2008 of traf­fick­ing co­caine and pos­ses­sion of an unau­tho­rized firearm. He was sen­tenced to four years.

Downey, who also went by the last name Sim­monds, was sen­tenced to 18 months for aid­ing and abet­ting pros­ti­tu­tion in 1998. He was fined $250 for us­ing a stolen credit card in 1990.

He also faced sev­eral other charges over the years re­lated to stolen prop­erty, drugs, weapons and pros­ti­tu­tion, but they were with­drawn.

Po­lice charged Downey, 46, late Thurs­day with first-de­gree mur­der in the slay­ings of Sara Bail­lie, 34, and her daugh­ter Taliyah Mars­man.

Bail­lie was found slain in her home on Mon­day and an Am­ber Alert was is­sued when Taliyah could not be found. The child’s body was dis­cov­ered on a ru­ral prop­erty east of the city on Thurs­day.

Po­lice said ear­lier that Downey knew the vic­tims’ fam­ily. Court doc­u­ments filed when he was charged say he is not al­lowed to con­tact Taliyah’s fa­ther, Colin Mars­man.

Downey’s next court ap­pear­ance is sched­uled for Wed­nes­day.

“We all are feel­ing the most pro­found grief and sad­ness that stems from the in­con­ceiv­able and sense­less mur­ders,” said a state­ment re­leased through po­lice from Bail­lie’s rel­a­tives, some of whom had pub­licly pleaded for Taliyah’s safe re­turn.

The state­ment also thanked po­lice, fam­ily, friends and peo­ple on so­cial me­dia.

“All your words, thoughts and prayers will con­tinue to see us through these dark­ened times.”

Christo­pher John­son, a cousin of Taliyah’s fa­ther, was on his way to visit fam­ily. He said ev­ery­one is dev­as­tated. “It feels so dis­gust­ing how some­one could do some­thing like that to a baby and to her mother,” John­son said.

Taliyah Leigh Mars­man

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