Edward Downey flirted with woman over text while suspected of dumping child's body, trial hears

While Edward Downey was suspected to be dumping the body of a child he's accused of murdering, he texted a woman, telling her was "fully turned on," court heard. WARNING: This story contains disturbing and graphic details.

WARNING: This story contains disturbing and graphic details

This photo of Edward Downey was sent to a woman he was trying to date between July 10 and July 13, 2016. He is accused of murdering a mother and child on July 11, 2016, and dumping the child's body in a rural area the same day. (Court exhibit )

While Edward Downey was suspected to be dumping the body of a child he's accused of murdering, he was texting a woman, telling her was "fully turned on" by her, according to evidence presented at his trial Wednesday.

Jurors heard details of Downey's cell phone activity on July 11, 2016, the day he is accused of killing Sara Baillie, 34, and Taliyah Marsman, 5.

Downey is on trial on two counts of first-degree murder.

Trish Pace, a civilian employee of the Calgary Police Service, analyzed Downey's cell phone to determine where it had been and when. 

Pace also matched time and location data with text messages sent to and from Downey's phone.

Her analysis shows Downey's cell phone was used near Baillie's home between 9:35 a.m. and 10:27 a.m., the morning she is believed to have been killed.

There is no cellphone activity between 12:09 p.m. and 3:11 p.m., Pace confirmed to prosecutor Ryan Jenkins.

Click here to view the exhibit of Edward Downey's cell phone activity on July 11, 2016

Just before noon, Downey's phone then travelled toward the northeast home he shared with his girlfriend and Baillie's best friend, a woman who can only be identified as AB.

At the time, AB was at work — a daycare in the northwest community of Sandstone where Taliyah was supposed to have been dropped off earlier.

Baillie, a single mother, had also failed to show up at work and her family and best friend AB were frantically trying to find her. 

Police would later discover Baillie's body stuffed into a laundry hamper with duct tape wrapped around her face, neck and wrists. Downey's fingerprints were found on the tape.

Prosecutors have suggested Downey may have blamed Baillie for AB trying to leave him and refusing to work as an escort.

Baillie and Taliyah both died by asphyxiation in July 2016. (Facebook)

The day before Baillie's body was found, a man named Rico Smith had set up his friend Downey with a woman named Dianna Soroshin. 

Soroshin testified Wednesday, detailing the flirtatious relationship that was brewing between her and Downey from July 10 to July 13, 2016. 

Downey and Soroshin texted back and forth for the three days, flirting with each other. Downey called her "Sweets" and told her he wanted to "get into" her "mind, body and soul."

He repeatedly asked her for photos of herself.

On the day Baillie's body was discovered, after Downey's phone utilized cellphone towers near Baillie's home and then his own, around 4:30 p.m. it pinged off towers toward and near the rural area where Taliyah's body was found and appeared to head back to the city.

It was during that time his conversation with Soroshin ramped up. 

Soroshin asked Downey, "how many women you have?" 

"[One] and a half if you get that," Downey responded in a message to Soroshin's question. "My thing ain't working and I think it won't last so I'm testing what's out there."

"I like you so when are we going to get out together...let's get this started."

At the same time, Downey was texting AB, telling her he was trying to help find Baillie.

Under cross examination by Meryl Friedland, Soroshin confirmed she had never met Downey in person or had a phone conversation with him. 

After pinging off a cell tower near the recovery site, Downey's phone then appeared to travels west, back into the city. 

Defence lawyers Friedland and Gavin Wolch have not yet had the chance to cross-examine Pace.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Beth Hughes is presiding over the jury trial which is scheduled to last until the end of next week.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.