Accused knew Taliyah and her parents
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faced several other charges over the years related to stolen property, drugs, weapons and prostitution, but they were withdrawn.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