A man has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of a Calgary woman and her 22-month-old daughter.
Robert Leeming, 34, appeared in a Calgary court Tuesday morning via video link to face the charges.
Calgary police said Monday they believe they had located the bodies of Jasmine Lovett, 25, and her daughter, Aliyah Sanderson, in a heavily wooded area near Calgary.
The mother and daughter lived in a townhouse with Leeming, who was their landlord.
Lovett and Aliyah had not been seen since April 16. They were reported missing one week later, after failing to show up at a family dinner.
Police said that Leeming and Lovett had been in a relationship and that the alleged murders were “motivated by domestic-related matters.”
In a statement on Monday, Lovett’s family thanked the Calgary Police Service and the public for their work in trying to locate Lovett and Aliyah.
“Our lives have been devastated and our hearts are heavy,” the family said. “We are trying to understand how this tragedy could have happened to our loved ones.”
Leeming, a British citizen with permanent residency status in Canada, will next appear in court on May 14.
Leeming’s lawyer, Balfour Der, told reporters outside court that his client is “innocent until proven guilty” and that he will pursue bail for him “if it’s reasonable and can be done.”
With files from CTVNews.ca’s Amanda Coletta and The Canadian Press