Missing mother, daughter feared dead and girls father isnt suspect detained by police – CBC News

Missing mother, daughter feared dead and girl\s father isn\t suspect detained by police - CBC News
Search for missing Calgary mother and child now suspected double-homicide investigation
The case of Calgary mother and her toddler missing for more than a week is now being treated as a double homicide, with police saying Thursday afternoon that they have a suspect in custody and it's not the 22-month-old girl's father.

The Calgary Police Service issued a request for help from the public on Wednesday to find Jasmine Lovett and her daughter, Aliyah Sanderson, who was 22 months old. Their disappearance is now being treated as a double homicide.

"We have spoken to the biological father and he is cooperative and he is not a suspect at this time," said Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the Calgary police homicide department.  

Police issued a plea for the publics help in locating the mother and child Wednesday. An Amber Alert was not issued for the child because police said the situation did not meet the requirements to issue an alert.

The suspect was detained by police Thursday morning, but Sciavetta said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that no charges had been laid.

Investigators have a suspect in custody for questioning and do not believe this incident to be random because the suspect and victims knew each other, read the police statement issued Thursday.

He said the crime is not believed to be random. The suspect and the victims had known each other, he said.

Investigators said Thursday they have been unable to find any evidence confirming that 25-year-old Jasmine Lovett and her 22-month-old daughter Aliyah Sanderson are alive. (Calgary Police Service)

Lovett, 25, and her daughter were last seen on the evening of April 16 at their home in the southeast Calgary neighbourhood of Cranston, police said.

The pair, who were said to have regular contact with their family, was last heard from on April 16. The last activity on Jasmines bank account was logged two days later.

Lovett's financial accounts were last active two days after that, when her card was used for an online purchase.

Investigators said Thursday they have been unable to find any evidence confirming that 25-year-old Jasmine Lovett and her 22-month-old daughter Aliyah Sanderson are alive.

Her family became aware of her disappearance after she didn't show up at a family dinner, Schiavetta told reporters Thursday.

Calgary Police say the investigation into a missing woman and her child is now being treated as a suspected double-homicide.

"We did a very exhaustive investigation into the footprints of life, this including social media, health care, phones, banking information, the fact that our victims were not in contact with her family, which is very inconsistent," Schiavetta said.

Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta updates reporters as their investigation into a missing woman and her child is now being treated as a homicide. Police have one suspect in custody. Police are investigating two communities including Cranston and Bragg Creek and are asking residents to report anything suspicious. Thursday, April 25, 2019. Brendan Miller/Postmedia Brendan Miller/Postmedia

"After conducting all those searches, we have not found any footprints of life and this leads us to believe that there is no evidence to support that our victims are alive."

"Any investigation involving a child is extremely difficult. A lot of the members within the homicide unit have children themselves," Schiavetta said.

“A lot of the investigators that are currently working this file also worked that one, and obviously any investigation involving a child is extremely difficult,” he said. “A lot of the members within the homicide unit have children themselves.”

He said an investigation into electronic devices led to the search of the area in southern Alberta. 

Police are co-ordinating with multiple other agencies to search the Cranston area and the area around Bragg Creek for evidence — though Schiavetta said that Lovett and Aliyah had no obvious connection to Bragg Creek.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or the Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877. You can also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.calgarycrimestoppers.org.

"So we're working with search and rescue and many external agencies to search areas that are obviously very wooded and mountainous in that area," Schiavetta said.

At least four search and rescue teams made up of police officers and volunteers could be seen searching off a stretch of Highway 762 near Bragg Creek on Thursday afternoon. Crews were examining any routes off the highway for evidence of the missing pair.

He asked homeowners in Bragg Creek and the surrounding area to check their properties and contact police or RCMP if they see anything suspicious.

"Sometimes it's the smallest piece of evidence that could assist the investigation," Schiavetta said.  

Lipton granted the emergency protection order, but 13 days later Court of Queens Bench Justice Scott Brooker revoked it after hearing from both Lovett and the girls father, an indication the parties had resolved their differences.

The Calgary crime scene unit has cordoned off a section of Cranford Court S.E. within a complex of townhouses called Mosaic Cranston.

The suspect is known to police and is known to the victims, but Schiavetta would not comment on their relationship. He added Sanderson’s biological father is not a suspect and has been cooperating with investigators.

Tolga Tunzun, who recently moved in a few doors down in Mosaic Cranston, said he saw police combing through a garage at one particular unit that has been the focus of much police attention.

The last place either of them was seen was in the southeast community of Cranston on April 16, and police said the last activity on Lovett’s financial accounts was an online purchase made two days later.

Dave Gibson said he has seen officers search nearby buildings and the grass in communal green spaces.

Calgary police are searching in Calgary and communities west of the city for evidence now that the disappearance of a Calgary mother and her child is being investigated as a potential double homicide.

"When I came in here today, I saw this forensic crime scene set up here and that's a little bit alarming because that's not normal," he said early Thursday afternoon. "Police were here yesterday doing a lot of investigation but I wouldn't think it would lead to what we see here now."

I locked my bedroom door and called 911 and he kicked open our bedroom door and got on top of me trying to get the phone. At that point I was really scared he was going to harm me and my child.

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“Anything on their property they can call the Calgary police or the RCMP,” he said. “Sometimes it’s the smallest piece of evidence that could assist the investigation.”

Calgary homicide detectives are now involved in the investigation into a woman reported missing with her child earlier this week.

In a Sept. 14 hearing before family court Judge Steve Lipton, Lovett said the girls father became aggressive towards her when she says he came home drunk and high on drugs nine days earlier.

Investigators issued a plea for public help on Wednesday to locate 25-year-old Jasmine Lovett and 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson.

Calgary Police Service Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said police have executed a search warrant in Cranston and a vehicle has been seized, adding a crime scene unit was on scene as of Thursday.

Police said Thursday that investigators have been “unable to find any evidence confirming” the mother and child are alive.

The pair were last seen in the Cranston community on the evening of Tuesday, April 16. The last activity on Lovett’s financial accounts was logged two days later.

His behaviour was very bizarre, aggressive. He wanted me to give him some money to get some more drugs and alcohol and I said no and he kicked open the main door.

“We did a very exhaustive investigation into the footprints of life – this included social media, healthcare, phones, banking information,” Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta said.

“After conducting all those searches, we have not found any footprints of life and this leads us to believe there is no evidence to support that our victims are alive.”

Calgary police search the Cranston neighbourhood as part of a possible double-homicide investigation after the disappearance of Jasmine Lovett and Aliyah Sanderson Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Calgary police search the Cranston neighbourhood as part of a possible double-homicide investigation after the disappearance of Jasmine Lovett and Aliyah Sanderson Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Calgary police search the Priddis, Alta. area as part of a possible double-homicide investigation after the disappearance of Jasmine Lovett and Aliyah Sanderson. Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Calgary police search the Priddis, Alta. area as part of a possible double-homicide investigation after the disappearance of Jasmine Lovett and Aliyah Sanderson. Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Calgary police use horses in their search in the Priddis, Alta. area as part of a possible double-homicide investigation after the disappearance of Jasmine Lovett and Aliyah Sanderson. Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Schiavetta said that at no point in the investigation did officers believe the disappearance was an abduction.

“[Investigators] do not believe this incident to be random because the suspect and victims knew each other,” CPS said.

Schiavetta said the suspect was known to police but the nature of their relationship with Lovett and her daughter was still under investigation.

Searches were being carried out at two separate locations on Thursday, including the community of Cranston where it’s believed Lovett lived.

“We are currently working with our crime scenes unit to examine a residence in the community of Cranston,” Schiavetta said, adding that a car was seized from the home.

In addition, teams including search and rescue and officers on horseback were deployed to an area near Bragg Creek and Priddis to search for evidence there.

“Through the investigative process and analyzing a number of [electronic] devices, we believe that an area in and around Bragg Creek may provide evidence of our homicides,” Schiavetta said, adding the area was wooded and mountainous.

The search area to find missing Jasmine Lovett and her daughter Aliyah Sanderson is VAST. Incl. Cranston, Priddis, and Bragg Creek — which is where we are. Theyre bringing out the horses now. pic.twitter.com/3b9HDpXG92

“Were looking for anything that may have been suspicious between April 16 and April 23,” Schiavetta said. “Anything on their property, they can call the Calgary police or the RCMP.”

Anyone with information on the case has been asked to contact police at 403-266-1234, the homicide tip line or by anonymously contacting Crime Stoppers.

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