'I just want my baby girl back': Missing Calgary girl's father begs for her return

The father of Taliyah Leigh Marsman issues a statement pleading for anyone with information to come forward after the five-year-old went missing and her mother was found dead in the Calgary home she shared with the child.

5-year-old girl's mom, Sara Baillie, found slain in Calgary Panorama Hills basement suite on Monday

Colin Marsman, 36, the estranged common-law partner of homicide victim Sara Baillie, and father of missing five-year-old Taliyah Marsman, made a plea on Wednesday for information about his daughter's whereabouts. Police said Tuesday he had been co-operating with the investigation. (Facebook) (Facebook)

FOR THE LATEST BREAKING NEWS, SEE: Calgary family, police 'devastated' as charges laid in deaths of Taliyah Marsman, mother

The father of Taliyah Leigh Marsman has issued a statement to the media through a friend, pleading for anyone with information to come forward after the five-year-old disappeared and her mother was found dead in the Calgary home she shared with the child.

An Alberta-wide Amber Alert has been in effect for Taliyah since early Tuesday, hours after she was discovered missing and Sara Baillie was found slain in their rented basement suite in Panorama Hills.

Sara Baillie was found dead in the home she was renting in Panorama Hills in Calgary late Monday. (Facebook)

Investigators are treating Baillie's killing as a homicide, but they have not revealed the cause of death.

"With all my heart, I love her sooo much; she is my light! Please allow her to come home to her family," said Taliyah's father, Colin Marsman — who was Baillie's estranged common-law spouse — in the statement sent out by his friend Gabriel Goree.

"Those who know me best, know the person and kind of father I am, and know more than anything, I just want my baby girl back," said Marsman, 36.

A day earlier, Insp. Don Coleman of the Calgary Police Service major crimes section said there is a "limited" history of domestic violence between Baillie and Marsman, "both reported and unreported."

He said Marsman has been co-operating. 

Goree told CBC News he and Marsman have been friends for more than 25 years and were very close growing up together in Halifax.

Marsman is a hardworking construction worker who has another child — a teenaged boy — and is distraught and in shock about the disappearance of his little girl, said Goree.

Race against the clock 

Mount Royal University criminologist Scharie Tavcer says that in the search for missing children, the clock can be a big obstacle.

"This is not a science, right, we can't pinpoint anything. But police will tell you the same thing. The more time that passes, the chances are slimmer that we find her," she said.

"And so it's a race against the clock and I know police, our police service is phenomenal and they're doing everything they can."

Anyone with information is urged to contact the police or Crime Stoppers.

The head of the Missing Children Society of Canada, which is helping with the search for Taliyah, says investigators are using all the resources they have to find the little girl.

"These types of cases are infrequent in Canada," said Amanda Pick, chief executive officer of the Calgary-based organization.

"When police have a missing child, they are immediately investigating every single opportunity, possible, lead, tip, so that they can bring that child home right away."

Pick said tips from the public can be crucial, and that people should pay attention to what's happening around them and report any information, no matter how inconsequential it may seem.