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Outpouring of grief over death of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

WATCH ABOVE: As the hope for finding Hailey turned into heartbreak, many people took to social media to share their thoughts and prayers. As Jill Croteau explains, nobody can imagine such harm could come to a little girl.

EDMONTON — News spread quickly on social media Tuesday night that the remains of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette were found after the RCMP announced the devastating news to a crowd gathered at a public vigil in Blairmore, Alta.

By early Wednesday morning, #RIPHailey was one of the top trending topics on Twitter. The hashtag had been used 7,200 times during the first few hours after the announcement of the little girl’s death.

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WATCH: Slav Kornik reports on social media reaction about the death of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. 

READ MORE: Technology making Amber Alert system more effective

Current and former prominent Alberta politicians also used social media to express their thoughts on the tragic news.

WATCH: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley expresses her thoughts about the murders to Global News:

A statement was sent out on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday.

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“Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the Dunbar and Blanchette families for their heart-breaking loss. We are praying for them at this difficult time.”

Derek Saretzky, 22, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Hailey and her father, Terry Blanchette.

Saretzky is scheduled to appear in Lethbridge Provincial Court on Sept. 23rd. Police said he’s also charged with one count of committing an indignity to a human body.

READ MORE: Timeline –Abduction of 2-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

Police said Saretzky was an acquaintance of Blanchette.

“We’re still exploring those connections, but at this point and time they were known to each other. That’s about all we can say to protect the investigative process,” said Insp. Derek Williams, Alberta RCMP Major Crimes.

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Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. Courtesy Facebook
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Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. Courtesy Facebook
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Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. Courtesy Facebook
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Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. Obtained by Global News
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Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. Obtained by Global News
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Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette - abducted from a Blairmore, AB home Sept 14, 2015. Courtesy: RCMP
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Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette - abducted from a Blairmore, AB home Sept 14, 2015. Courtesy: RCMP
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Crowsnest Pass RCMP issued an Amber Alert in connection with the abduction of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette. RCMP handout
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Residents gather for a candlelight vigil for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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Residents gather for a candlelight vigil for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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Residents gathered for a candlelight vigil for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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Residents gather for a candlelight vigil for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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Residents gather for a candlelight vigil for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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The town of Blairmore, Alta., is shown as RCMP investigations continue into the disappearance of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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RCMP investigators at the scene of the disappearance of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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RCMP investigations continue at the scene of the disappearance of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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RCMP investigators at the scene of the disappearance of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette in Blairmore, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Blairmore is about 220 kilometres southwest of Calgary in the Crowsnest Pass area near the B.C.- Alberta boundary.

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