In a small Alberta town where everyone knows each other lives a woman who wishes she could disappear. She’s the mother of one of Canada’s most notorious accused killers, Derek Saretzky.
It’s a title she wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy. It’s destroyed her entire world.
“We are shattered,” said Derek’s mother, who Global News is not naming due to personal safety issues.
“My entire life has changed and I don’t know where to go from here. If it wasn’t for God and my parents, I couldn’t have made it through this last year,” she said.
Sept. 14, 2016 marks the one-year anniversary of the tragedy in Blairmore, Alta.
Saretzky is accused of killing two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father, Terry Blanchette. Twenty-seven-year-old Blanchette was found dead inside his Blairmore home.
But his daughter wasn’t there. Her disappearance prompted an Amber Alert that had people from all over North America searching for the little girl, hoping and praying she would be found alive.
The next night, RCMP delivered the devastating news that her remains had been found in a rural area outside of Blairmore.
Ever since that moment, Saretzky’s loved ones have wanted to speak out.
“Words just don’t say it enough how horribly I feel for them,” Derek’s grandmother Judy Megli said.
Megli said she thinks of the victims’ family every single day.
The family has felt ostracized in the community. Derek’s mother has had her home and vehicle vandalized and feels there’s no way it was a coincidence.
The women say the hardest part is for people to understand they still support Derek, even though he’s accused of such heinous crimes.
“I always will support him. We love him,” Megli said.
“When you have a child, the love you have for him is unconditional,” his mother added.
One thing Saretzky’s family has in common with the public is the desire to know what happened.
“We probably know less than anybody. Police won’t tell us anything and people don’t tell us anything. We know nothing,” Megli said.
Saretzky is also accused of killing Megli’s friend and neighbour, 69-year-old Hanne Meketech.
In total, he faces three counts of first-degree murder and is scheduled to stand trial in May 2017 in front of a judge and jury.