Calgary police crime analyst used cellphone tower pings to lead investigators to body of Taliyah Marsman
A Calgary police crime and intelligence analyst told court on Wednesday she used cell communications to and from a phone belonging to accused double-murderer Edward Downey to help police find Taliyah Marsman.
Trish Pace showed jurors the maps she created to help guide officers in their search for the little girl, who was the subject of an Alberta-wide Amber Alert at the time.
Downey is accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sara Baillie and Taliyah, her five-year-old daughter. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Sara was found dead inside her northwest Calgary basement suite on July 11, 2016.
Taliyah’s body was found three days later, outside city limits.
Pace took jurors through a detailed breakdown of the cellphone tower pings made by the Blackberry belonging to Downey on July 11, 2016, and said she used that information to create the maps.
Using a Powerpoint presentation, Pace took jurors through every communication to and from Downey’s phone that day, including text messages, BlackBerry messenger (BBM) and phone calls.
She told court she put the tower pings into chronological order to create a map.
At some points, court heard Downey’s phone had so many communications — just seconds apart — that “the communications almost ping pongs off the different towers.”
Pace said investigators asked her to narrow the search area as much as possible, as a lot of the area on the map was farmland.
She testified after studying the map further, she spotted an area with foliage and greenery.
“I felt that would be a logical starting point for searchers,” Pace said.
Pace showed court an overlay of a map that showed the actual spot police found Taliyah, and put it on top of the map she created with the narrowed search location.
Taliyah was found on the edge of a circle where Pace predicted the five-year-old would be.
One of the people messaging Downey’s phone, was a woman named Dianna.
She told court a friend was trying to set her up with someone named “Delton” who also went by “D” and “Edward.” Downey’s middle name is Delton.
That man later sent her a photo — that picture of Downey was shown to the jury.
View photos that Downey sent to Dianna in the gallery below.
A woman testified she texted Delton between July 10 and July 13, 2016, receiving her her first text from him July 10, 2016, just before midnight.
“Hey, hey it’s D,” the first message sent to Dianna read.
A transcript of their communications was given to the jury and read outloud in court, and included flirtatious messages back and forth.
On July 11, just after 4 p.m., court heard the man sent her a text that said: “Delton just a nickname lol edward is my name my loved ones call me ‘D.'”
He told her “you’re sweet I’m really starting to take to you” then later that day wrote “I’m not single, I’m looking to be and not be single.”
Court heard Dianne’s communications with Downey were included in the messages Pace used to map Downey’s cell to where Taliyah’s body was found.
Pace will continue her testimony Thursday.
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