WARNING: This story contains disturbing details.
Graphic details of the injuries five-year-old Taliyah Marsman suffered were outlined Tuesday morning in the double-murder trial of Edward Downey.
Downey has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her five-year-old daughter Taliyah.
Family and friends of Sara and Taliyah, including the little girl’s father, broke down Tuesday as an expert in forensic pathology continued his testimony.
Dr. Bamidele Adeagbo performed autopsies on both Sara and Taliyah.
He told court Taliyah suffered numerous injuries that were inflicted before she was killed, as well as injuries after she died, including an abrasion on her back that could have been from moving her body over brush or twig.
Dr. Adeagbo testified Taliyah died of asphyxia – a lack of oxygen.
However, court heard the doctor wasn’t able to determine how that happened, but said he can speculate it was by smothering or strangulation.
“Whatever happened to Taliyah, Taliyah could not do it to herself,” Adeagbo added. “That is a very important point.”
On Monday, Adeagbo told court Sara died of asphyxia, caused by neck compression and suffocation.
The 34-year-old was found dead inside of her northwest Calgary basement suite on July 11, 2016.
Court heard her body was hidden inside of Taliyah’s closet, inside a laundry hamper.
Taliyah’s body was found three days later, outside the city limits following an Alberta-wide Amber Alert.
A man who found Sara’s cell phone the day after she was killed also testified Tuesday.
Mark Leckie told court he was on a trip across western Canada with his family and visiting friends in Calgary in July 2016.
He said in the evening of July 12, 2016 he took his kids to a northwest Calgary park when he came across a Samsung smartphone lying under a tree.
Leckie testified he didn’t know who the phone belonged to. He said he picked it up and took a selfie with him holding the phone and sent to his friends, before taking it to their home.
“It seemed to me the phone was relatively new,” Leckie said, adding it had a clear plastic film on the back side of the phone.
Watch below: (From Nov. 30, 2018) Friday marked an emotional end to an extremely difficult week for family and friends of Sara Baillie and her five-year-old daughter Taliyah Marsman. Edward Downey has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the deaths of the mother and daughter. Nancy Hixt reports.
Leckie said he and his family left Calgary on July 13, but left the phone with his friends. That friend was Heather Hubert.
She told court she made several attempts to charge the phone so she could try and figure out who it belonged to.
Once it finally turned on, Hubert said she recognized some of the names that showed up on the phone.
“The first thing I noticed was the name Taliyah,” Hubert said. “I knew there was a case going on in the media.”
She told court she also saw the name Colin.
“I thought this was getting a bit strange,” Hubert testified.
She said there were 15 missed calls from “AB.”
Court has heard AB is the best friend of Sara. Her identity is protected by a publication ban.
Hubert said she decided to look on Sara Baillie’s Facebook to confirm if she had a friend named AB.
She said she Googled the name listed as “work” on the phone, and it came back as a number for Chili’s restaurant. Court has previously heard Sara worked at Chili’s.
“At that moment, I didn’t want to mess with the phone anymore,” Hubert said.
She said she took the phone to a police station the next morning, thinking it might have something to do with the case that was in the media — the case of Sara and Taliyah.
An expert in the operation of the Rogers wireless network also testified Tuesday afternoon.
David Mak explained how cell phones work with cell towers.
“What happens when you hit send (to make a call), your cellular phone will look for the cell tower that has the strongest signal, and it will always use the tower that has the strongest signal,” Mak said.
“The strongest cell tower is generally the closest to the phone,” Mak explained.
Earlier in the trial, jurors were told a crime analyst used cell phone tower pings to map the accused’s movements — and that provided a map for searchers to follow to find Taliyah.
The trial is scheduled for three weeks.
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