WARNING: This story contains violent, graphic details. Discretion is advised.
The first of three chilling video confessions as well as audio of police questioning Derek Saretzky almost two years ago was played in court Thursday for the jury in the triple-murder trial.
Saretzky, 24, is on trial in Lethbridge, Alta., on three counts of first-degree murder in the September 2015 deaths of Terry Blanchette, his two-year-old daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and Hanne Meketech, who was killed five days earlier.
In the videotaped interview conducted at the Blairmore RCMP detachment, Staff Sgt. Michael McCauley asked if Hailey was dead or alive.
“She’s not alive,” Saretzky replied in the interview, recorded around midday on Sept. 15, 2015.
“The devil made me turn her into ashes,” Saretzky told the officer, as he broke down emotionally.
Watch below: Edited video of Staff Sgt. Michael McCauley interviewing accused triple-murderer Derek Saretzky was played in Lethbridge court this week. WARNING: Discretion advised.
He told the officer her remains were in the bushes.
McCauley later asked why Saretzky killed Terry Blanchette.
“He was a terrible father,” Saretzky said.
Later in the tape, Saretzky told the officer disturbing details of dismemberment and cannibalism.
Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the case
In a police interview that took place at Derek Saretzky’s family business in Blairmore, Alta. earlier on Sept. 15, 2015, RCMP asked where the little girl was.
“Is she alive?” asked one of the officers in the audio recording played for court.
“I couldn’t tell you,” Saretzky replied.
“Help them Derek. Please,” his father urged.
“She’s in heaven. Her spirit is floating around,” Saretzky replied.
When asked if Hailey was at peace, Saretzky said “she probably is now.”
“She probably didn’t have a very good life … she wasn’t happy.”
Saretzky said God told him about Hailey.
“God did it. God works in some weird ways,” Saretzky said.
“I don’t think God would make a two-year-old baby girl just disappear,” the officer replied.
Saretzky was then told to stand up and was charged with murder.
“I didn’t do anything,” said Saretzky, who added “I love you, Dad” as he was led away.
Talking to officers in the police car on the way to RCMP headquarters, Saretzky was asked again where Hailey’s body was.
“I don’t know where God put her,” he replied.
The interview took place as an Amber Alert for Hailey was still active, after her father was found dead in his home.
Derek Saretzky was eventually taken into custody, not long after the interview related to the murder of Blanchette.
Saretzky has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Despite that, the Crown says it has video confessions to all three crimes.
Court has already heard that Saretzky eventually led officers to Hailey’s remains in a campground firepit.
At the police station, Saretzky was given a list of lawyers and again reminded of his rights, court heard.
“I don’t even remember doing it. I don’t believe I’m guilty,” he said.
He did eventually reach a lawyer to get some advice.
“She just told me to say the truth and whatever,” he told the officer.
As Saretzky was being led to a jail cell, he could be heard asking if he could receive some reading material, including a Bible.
–With files from Global’s Reid Fiest and The Canadian Press’ Bill Graveland