Alberta senior was found in pool of blood, triple-murder trial hears

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Bloodstains in the bedroom where Hanne Meketech’s body was found suggest she was struck by an object at an impact point not far from the ground, an Alberta RCMP expert testified at the triple-murder trial of Derek Saretzky on Thursday.

“It would be a significant force that caused these small spatter stains,” Sgt. Ashley Davidson said.

He was referring to hundreds of tiny droplets of blood found in one corner of the bedroom of the 69-year-old woman’s home in the southwestern Alberta community of Coleman in the Crowsnest Pass.

Saretzky, 24, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Meketech as well as two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and her father, Terry Blanchette, 27.

Their bodies were found days after Meketech’s, in September 2015, in the neighbouring Crowsnest Pass community of Blairmore.

​Saretzky, also of Blairmore, is also charged with committing an indignity to the body of the toddler.

Day 2 of the trial in Court of Queen’s Bench in Lethbridge is focusing on Meketech’s slaying.

Analysis of the stain patterns in her bedroom determined the blood originated from a point 41 centimetres above the floor, said Davidson.

  • Follow the latest in the trial from our reporters in the courtroom here.

In addition to the small droplet stains in the northeast corner of the bedroom, Davidson said there were also larger droplets of blood on the west wall that would have come from a blood-soaked object being swung through the air.

There was also a large pool of blood, covering about six square feet, below Meketech’s body, he said.

“She was lying on her right side, naked except for she had some underwear bottoms on,” Davidson said.

The bloodstains were limited to the bedroom, he said, except for a series of bloody paw prints found throughout the home, believed to have come from Meketech’s pets after her death.

Sgt. Ashley Davidson

RCMP Sgt. Ashley Davidson outside the courthouse in Lethbridge, Alta., after testifying as a blood-spatter analysis expert at the triple-murder trial of Derek Saretzky. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

The home also had signs of forced entry, according to testimony earlier in the day from Const. Carla Leanne Perrin, one of the first police officers to arrive at Meketech’s home.

There were “obvious splits in the door frame” and a door latch was found on the floor, Perrin testified.

The medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Meketech’s body is to testify Thursday afternoon.

Trial to last weeks

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks, hear from dozens of witnesses and include nearly 40 exhibits, some of them quite gruesome.

Before the jury was sworn in on Wednesday, one juror was excused by Justice William Tilleman, who is overseeing the trial, because he said he would have physical difficulty if the testimony contained graphic evidence.

Terry Blanchette, Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

Terry Blanchette, 27, and his daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, 2. (Amanda Blanchette)

When Blanchette was found dead and his daughter missing from their home in Blairmore, a community of about 2,000 people, on Sept. 14, 2015, the case drew national attention.

An Amber Alert was issued for Hailey, but she was found dead the next day in a rural area near Blairmore.

Saretzky was charged with two counts of first-degree murder two days later.

Seven months later, police charged him with first-degree murder in the death of Meketech.

Meketech was found dead in her home on Sept. 9, 2015.

By “pure coincidence,” Papadatou said the officer in charge of the Meketech investigation went to the scene of the Blanchette killing and noticed striking similarities between the two slayings, which led police to later link the cases.

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Alberta senior was found in pool of blood, triple-murder trial hears

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