WARNING: This story contains disturbing, graphic content. Discretion is advised.
He was also convicted of causing an indignity to Hailey’s body.
It took jurors just three hours to reach the verdicts.
Inside the courtroom, a friend of Meketech cried as she heard the verdicts read.
Patrick Edgerton, defence lawyer for Saretzky, noted the impact on the jurors and everyone involved in the case.
“This has been a tough process for everyone involved — from the Blanchette and Saretzky families, the people the community in the Crowsnest Pass, to the judge, the jury, the court staff…” he said.
WATCH BELOW: Defence lawyer Patrick Edgerton speaks after guilty verdicts in Derek Saretzky trial
Edgerton said he hopes the jurors can now find closure after performing their civic duty.
“Everybody deserves a fair trial, everyone is entitled to a jury of their peers for these offences, and Mr. Saretzky is no exception,” Edgerton said.
Saretzky receives automatic life sentence
Saretzky, 24, will receive an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years.
What still needs to be argued is the possibility of consecutive sentencing for each count of murder he was convicted on, as well as sentencing on the indignity charge. The jury unanimously recommended consecutive sentencing for parole ineligibility for the three counts of first-degree murder.
WATCH BELOW: ‘Verdict is for the victims’: RCMP insp. Derek Williams thanks investigators, Crown for work during Saretzky trial
Saretzky faces up to 75 years before he’s eligible for parole for the murders, plus any extra time for causing the indignity to Hailey’s body.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning, beginning with victim impact statements. Eight are expected to be read into court.
Crown prosecutor Photini Papadatou said she expects the Blanchette family to be present.
Victims were found dead in September 2015
All three victims were killed in September 2015 in Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass.
First, Meketech was found in her mobile home in the community of Coleman on Sept. 9, 2015.
Five days later, Blanchette was found dead in his Blairmore home. His throat had been cut.
Watch below from June 19: Aunt testifies Derek Saretzky told her he’d done ‘something really bad’
Police found blood smears throughout the home and drag marks indicating he was attacked in his bedroom then dragged to the bathroom.
Investigators found blood on a doll inside of Hailey’s crib. She was nowhere to be found.
An Amber Alert was issued and the entire nation held out hope she would be found alive.
Three videotaped confessions by Saretzky with police were shown in court during the trial, including a re-enactment at the rural campsite where the remains of two-year-old Hailey were found.
Watch below from June 15: Derek Saretzky video confession played at triple-murder trial
It was Saretzky’s cousin who first alerted police to suspicious activity at the site, known to the family as “the ranch.”
Police first arrived at the campsite Sept. 15, 2015. The firepit was still smouldering.
Officers spent three days sifting through the ashes and recovered numerous charred remains. No DNA could be recovered from the bones, but an expert said they belonged to a child aged two to four years.
A pot found on a nearby picnic table had several red stains and was swabbed for DNA. According to an agreed statement of facts, the DNA came back as a match to Hailey.
Watch below from June 21: Hailey’s mom describes relationships with Blanchette, Saretkzy
Multiple weapons were also seized and photographed, including a hatchet, a utility knife or box-cutter, a crowbar, a hammer and axes.
In an interview with Staff Sgt. Mike McCauley, the officer asked, “Is she alive Derek or is she dead? Look at me. Is she alive?”
“She’s not alive,” Saretzky answered.
The officer pushed Saretzky to tell him where Hailey was located, as the Amber Alert continued.
“Derek, where is she?” McCauley asked.
“The devil made me turn her into ashes,” Saretzky finally said.
In the re-enactment video, Saretzky is seen directing police to the campsite.
When they arrive, his hands are handcuffed in front of him and he took officers through graphic and disturbing details of how he killed Hailey, dismembered her and cannibalized her—before throwing her body into the raging fire.
Numerous RCMP officers were in court for the verdicts, including the two primary investigators and the head of the serious crimes unit, insp. Derek Williams.
WATCH BELOW: RCMP insp. Derek Williams speaks about dedication of investigators during tragic Derek Saretzky case
“The verdict obviously is for the victims here,” Williams said.
“Many RCMP investigators, support staff and units worked tirelessly on these cases,” he said, adding more than 100 investigators were involved in this case during the initial stages.