Alberta couple, child found dead in Saskatchewan ditch

A married couple and their two-year-old boy from Airdrie, Alta., have been found dead in a ditch near St. Walburg, Sask.
Hayley, Darren and Cayden Wourms were found dead near St. Walburg, Sask. (Facebook)

A married couple and their two-year-old boy from Airdrie, Alta., have been found dead in a ditch near St. Walburg, Sask.

The three bodies were found Monday in the ditch next to a rural grid road north of the town, the RCMP said.

Police said a .22-calibre rifle was discovered at the scene.

Police are not calling it a murder-suicide, but have said there's no indication anybody else was involved in the deaths.

"We have an idea of what happened, but we don't have the complete picture," Sgt. Paul Dawson, a spokesman for the RCMP, said Tuesday.

While police have not released any names, CBC News has confirmed the dead are Darren Wourms, 26, Hayley Wourms, 23, and Cayden Wourms, 2.

Autopsies are being conducted in Saskatoon.

"We hope to learn more based on that autopsy as well as interviews that we're doing to help retrace the steps that led to the discovery yesterday early afternoon," Dawson added.

According to RCMP, the family is from the Alberta city north of Calgary, but have family ties to Saskatchewan.

A relative at the Wourms family farm said the deaths are a private matter and refused comment. A woman who answered the phone at what is believed to be Hayley Wourms's family home also said they did not wish to comment at this time.

Tony Leeson is the mayor of St. Walburg, where Darren Wourms grew up.

"Life was taken away from people who hadn't even seen much of their life," Leeson told CBC News Tuesday. "When I found out who, then I immediately felt for those left behind."

St. Walburg is a town of about 700 people situated in rolling countryside with cattle farms.

"It's just as though it was one of your own family that it happened to because everybody knows everybody else," Leeson said.

Hayley Wourms studied kinesiology

Yujing Gu was a friend of Hayley Wourms during their time at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

"She's someone who really cared about community involvement and someone who was really passionate about everything health and nutrition related," Gu told CBC News Tuesday.

Hayley Wourms grew up in Assiniboia, Sask., and studied kinesiology at the U of S.

911 call in April

RCMP in Alberta said they had received a 911 call on April 24 from someone concerned about the family's well-being. Officers responded and the father was taken to hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

They said their investigation in that matter did not warrant criminal charges.

"Partner agencies were engaged to assist this family with its ongoing struggles," RCMP added in a news release. "Sadly, RCMP in Saskatchewan responded to the tragic deaths of this family."

Saskatchewan RCMP said they were called around 1:20 p.m. CST on Monday by a motorist who had come upon the scene.

St. Walburg is close to the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, about 97 kilometres northeast of Lloydminster.

With files from The Canadian Press