The father of missing Canadian 5-year-old Taliyah Leigh Marsman said in an interview he’s holding out hope that his daughter is still alive after the homicide of the girl’s mother, his estranged wife Sara Baillie.
Speaking to Canada’s Global News over the phone on Thursday, Colin Marsman said, “I’m waiting for her to come back home and I’m praying.”
“And I believe that I’m going to see her soon, and I just can’t wait to see my daughter,” he continued, adding, “I’m praying every day all my family and friends are praying and hoping for the best. I believe we are going to see her. And I just want everybody to keep praying for her, my daughter, to come home safe.”
A man was detained Wednesday night in connection with Taliyah’s disappearance, authorities confirmed to PEOPLE. A Calgary Police Service spokesperson said that police are searching a rural area east of Chestermere “for evidence in relation to the case.”
On Monday, police found Baillie dead in the house she shared with Taliyah. An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday.
Colin said he found out police had detained a man “at the same time as everybody else.”
Police believe the detained man was driving a dark gray sedan, which was spotted close to where Baillie’s car was recovered. Colin said he did not recognize the car. (The car is pictured in the intersection of the photo below.)
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“I’m working closely with the police and I stay in contact with them every hour,” Colin told the Global News. “We’re talking to each other. But as far as information, I find out at the same time as everybody else. But I’m cooperating with them. We’re staying close in contact. But as far as that situation [the sedan] I’m not sure. I don’t know who may own that or whose it is. I wish I could be more help.”
Colin was “estranged” from Baillie, with whom he had a “limited” history of domestic violence, according to CBC. Marsman has been under a peace bond since March, with Baillie listed as the complainant, CBC reported.
When asked if he knew why anyone would take his daughter, Colin said, “I don’t. Not at all.” He added that he was “trying to stay strong.”
On Wednesday, police said that witnesses reported seeing a girl matching Taliyah’s description around 11:30 a.m. with a “stocky, black male.” (It is not clear whether the male in the description is the one who was taken into custody.)
Police began conducting a grid search in fields near Delacour on Thursday, Metro News said.