By David Giles, Global News.
The body of Nia Eastman, 7, has been located by police in a Choiceland home in a Saskatchewan Amber Alert case.
“This is a difficult day for all of us,” said RCMP Insp. Jennifer Ebert as she held back tears.
“This was not the outcome all of us were hoping for and our thoughts are with the family and communities.”
The alert was first issued just after 4 a.m. local time after Nia was not returned to her mother by her father, Adam Jay Eastman.
“What we know is that she was supposed to be dropped off at 7 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday) evening and she wasn’t dropped off at the appropriate time,” RCMP Sgt. Earl LeBlanc said at a Thursday morning news conference.
A vehicle believe to have been operated by Eastman was located on a rural property east of Smeaton near Snowden at around 10 p.m.
Neither Nia nor Eastman were located in the vehicle.
Police said Eastman was found dead early Thursday morning.
“At approximately 5:30 (Thursday) morning, investigators located Adam Jay Eastman deceased with apparent self-inflicted injuries on a rural property east of Smeaton,” LeBlanc said.
“(His) body was found in the vicinity of his car on property he owned.”
Ebert said the investigation will focus on the time Eastman picked up Nia from her school until the discovery of her body.
Autopsies have also been ordered to assist investigators with determining the time and cause of death.
Ebert said they don’t believe anyone else was involved and no suspects are being sought.
A Facebook page belonging to a Jay Eastman featured several photos of a little girl smiling happily with her father. People who knew Eastman say he went by his middle name “Jay.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a day before Nia was to be returned to her mother, there was a photo posted of the girl and an unidentified woman with the super-imposed caption “My World.”
On Wednesday, the page’s cover photo was changed to a picture of a skull and crossbones with the slogan: “Leave me alone. I’ve had enough.”
There were no further posts after that.
A business owner in Choiceland, Sask., said Eastman had been renting a house there and dropped in to talk to her pretty much every day.
The woman, who did not want her name used, said Eastman and his wife had separated about two months ago. She said Nia was their only child, although Eastman had two children from a previous common-law relationship.
“He was having mental issues. Him and his wife split up. It wasn’t a good situation,” she said.
The woman said Eastman had worked at a Co-op for a while, but was currently unemployed.
With files from The Canadian Press