Connect with us

Horoscope

Man charged with arson, murder after daughter found dead in fire

Published

on

CHATHAM – The father of a young woman found dead in her Chatham home after a fire nearly two years ago faces first-degree murder and arson charges after being arrested in British Columbia.

David William Thomas, 48, was found in Fanny Bay, B.C., last week and arrested by Chatham-Kent police and RCMP officers, police said on Tuesday. Police confirmed he’s the father of the victim, Bayli Sellars.

Thomas made an initial court appearance in B.C., then was returned to Chatham-Kent, police said.

He appeared in a Chatham court Tuesday, where he was charged with first-degree murder, five counts of arson – disregard for human life, and single counts of arson for a fraudulent purpose, and indignity to a body, police said.

He is to return to court June 11.

The body of Sellars, 22, was found in her home at 149 Edgar St. after emergency crews responded to a fire about 4 a.m. June 25, 2022, police said at the time.

An investigation was launched into the fire’s origin and the cause of Sellars’ death, police said.

Since the initial call, multiple agencies have been involved with the investigation, including Chatham-Kent Fire Department, the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office, the regional coroner’s office and RCMP.

A Canada-wide arrest warrant was issued for Thomas earlier this month, police said.

Postmedia was contacted in November 2022 by some of Sellars’ relatives, who were frustrated at what they felt was a lack of information coming from police about the investigation. Reached on Tuesday, Bayli’s mother, Sherri Sellars, declined comment.

The family said in November 2022 that if there had been foul play in Sellars’ death, they hadn’t seen any signs she was in danger. “None of us saw this coming,” Sherri Sellars said at the time.

The family wants justice for the young woman, Bayli Sellars’s aunt, Kelly-Lyn Girard, has said. “She was just stolen from us, basically.”

Girard declined further comment Tuesday. Police responded in November 2022 that any concerns would be dealt with directly with the family to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Bayli Sellars, left, who died on June 25, 2022, at age 22 is seen in this undated photo wearing a tutu during her final rugby game playing for Chatham-Kent secondary school. (Contributed photo)
Bayli Sellars, left, who died on June 25, 2022, at age 22 is seen in this undated photo wearing a tutu during her final rugby game playing for Chatham-Kent secondary school. (Contributed photo)

A summer 2022 obituary stated Sellars enjoyed bowling and soccer growing up.

“The highlight was watching Bayli play her final rugby game in her multi-coloured tutu,” the obituary stated. “Bayli moved to the beat of dance, must say she rocked the cadet uniform and hat.”

“Bayli was known best for taking pictures and being in pictures. Her smile and the beautiful but most often goofy poses will be memories that we will hold on to. Mom best liked the Grinch face.”

Anyone with information should contact Const. Brad Hyatt at 519-436-6600, ext. 288, or bradh@chatham-kent.ca.

eshreve@postmedia.com

Article content

Continue Reading