July 15, 2016 1:46 am
Updated: July 19, 2016 10:56 am

Who is Edward Downey? Man charged with first degree murder in Taliyah Marsman’s death

WATCH ABOVE: Edward Downey being escorted by Calgary police Thursday night.


Global News has learned the man charged in five-year-old Taliyah Leigh Marsman‘s death has an extensive criminal history.

Edward Delten Downey, 46, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder Thursday night, in connection with the deaths of Taliyah Marsman and her mother, Sara Baillie.

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READ MORE: Suspect in Taliyah’s disappearance uncooperative, police continue search

Global News has learned Downey has prior convictions for trafficking cocaine and a prostitution-related case.

“There is an extensive criminal history at play,” Insp. Don Coleman with Calgary Police Service said Thursday night.

Police in Atlantic Canada said Downey also has ties to organized crime in Nova Scotia, where he lived for some time.

Watch below: A body believed to be that of five-year-old Taliyah Leigh Marsman has been located, Calgary police said Thursday night.

Coleman said Downey, who also goes by the last name Simmonds, was known to Taliyah Marsman, Baillie and Baillie’s estranged husband, Colin Evan Marsman.

“I don’t know the level of trust there,” Coleman said. “We believe that Mr. Downey is known to both – or all three – [of] Sara, Taliyah and the father, Colin.”

On Thursday, a justice of the peace placed Downey under a special order which forbids him from having any contact with Colin Marsman.

Watch below: Calgary police sealed off an area in Skyview Ranch Thursday night, where the suspect, Edward Downey, supposedly lived.

READ MORE: Body of Taliyah Marsman found, Edward Downey charged with first degree murder

Taliyah Marsman was the subject of an Alberta-wide Amber Alert, which ended in tragedy Thursday night when her body was found in a rural area near Chestermere, Alta.

Baillie, 34, was found dead Monday evening after police were called to her home in northwest Calgary. Police said Thursday they believe both Baillie and Taliyah Marsman were dead before police became involved.

“I can tell you that the timeline of events through the investigation would suggest that the entire – both events – occurred prior to police involvement on Monday. We were contacted at about 8:30 when Sara was reported as overdue, and we believe that this incident had concluded sometime that afternoon,” Coleman said.

“At this point Mr. Downey is our only suspect,” he said. “I can’t speak to any motive. That’s something that we still have to figure out.”

Watch below: Global News’ ongoing coverage of the disappearance of Taliyah Leigh Marsman

Downey has been taken into police custody where he will remain until his next court appearance on July 20.

With files from Nancy Hixt, Global News. 

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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