Triple murder trial hears testimony about remains found in firepit


LETHBRIDGE, Alta. _ The trial of a man accused of killing a young father, his two-year-old daughter and a senior in southern Alberta is hearing testimony about the firepit where the girl’s remains were discovered.

RCMP Const. Christopher Girard says that on Sept. 15, 2015, he was approached by Shane Koinberg, the cousin of Derek Saretzky, who is on trial for three counts of first-degree murder and committing an indignity to little Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette’s body.

Koinberg told Girard he had found “something weird” at a rural campsite partially owned by his family.

Girard testified he took photos of the firepit, which included what appeared to be a bone protruding from debris.

The trial has been told that Saretzky, 24, who has pleaded not guilty, confessed to officers that he killed the girl and burned her remains in the firepit.

Testimony has indicated he also confessed to killing Terry Blanchette, 27, and Hanne Meketch, 69.

Sgt. David Westin says officers found the firepit still burning when they arrived to investigate the site.

Westin says officers carefully added water in order to extinguish the fire but preserve the “fragile” evidence.

He says police were able to extract a number of small, delicate tooth and bone fragments, as well as the burned remains of a hatchet, a box cutter utility knife, a smooth single-edged blade, a fork and a spoon.

Blood was found on a child’s toy, grass near the fire and on a metal pot.