October 14th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 40
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Dunbar family issues statement to hundreds gathered at memorial
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Friends and family released white and purple balloons outside Crowsnest Consolidated High School on October 9 after the memorial service for Terry Blanchette and his daughter Hailey.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
As hundreds gathered for a public memorial service, those closest to slain two-year-old Hailey Dunbar Blanchette said they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that has followed in the wake of this terrible family tragedy.

“We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has shown us support and compassion throughout this horrific ordeal,” said the Dunbar family in a statement. “To all those who donated, held charity drives, vigil services, offered condolences and moments of reverence for our little Hailey and her dad Terry, we are truly touched by your incredible consideration.”

About 400 people attended the public memorial for Hailey and her 27-year old father Terry Blanchette on Friday at Crowsnest Consolidated High School.

Hailey's grandmother, Terry-Lynn Dunbar, said her granddaughter was known for her signature scrunched-up nose.

"She had lots of friends and loved ones who surrounded her day and night," she said. "You couldn't help but love her."
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Terry's sister, Amanda Blanchette, delivered a tearful eulogy for her brother and said Hailey changed his life. He told his sister that he had big shoes to fill when he found out he was going to become a father,

"You filled those shoes and you became the man and the father that we were proud to call brother, father, uncle, son, and most of all, dad," she said.

The ceremony was concluded with the release of white and purple balloons outside the high school.

“I’m certain that Terry would have been happy to see all those people who really cared for him,” said Blanchette’s friend Taylor Secretan. “He was a good guy.”

Last month, police undertook a frantic search for Hailey that spanned three provinces and the state of Montana after Blanchette was found dead in his home. The toddler's remains were discovered the next day in a rural part of Blairmore.

Derek James Saretzky, 22, faces two charges of first-degree murder. He is also facing one count of indignity to a body in relation to Hailey's death.
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Saretzky was rushed to hospital Sept. 23 after reportedly trying to hang himself while in custody at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.

He is currently undergoing a 30-day psychiatric assessment to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

Saretzky worked at Prestige Cleaners and Tailors in Blairmore. He has no criminal record but he knew Blanchette and was friends with Hailey’s mother Cheyenne Dunbar, 20, when she was living in Crowsnest Pass.

In an address to the media, Cheyenne said she and Saretzky had not been in touch for three years and called Hailey the “greatest child ever.” Cheyenne and Blanchette were separated and shared custody of their daughter.
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October 14th ~ Vol. 85 No. 40
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