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Amber Alert for Canadian toddler; father found slain

BLAIRMORE, Alberta -- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were searching Monday for a missing 2-year-old girl whose father was found dead inside a home in southwestern Alberta.

Police said Terry Blanchette, 27, was killed in a suspected homicide Monday morning in a home in Blairmore, Alberta, and his daughter, Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette has not been seen since.

Tuesday, the RCMP arrested a suspect, but they were still searching for a missing 2-year-old girl.

Supt. Tony Hamori says a 22-year-old man was arrested, but no charges have been laid. RCMP have also found a white van associated with the investigation. Police said earlier the van was spotted fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed.

Police said they found Blanchette's body shortly before noon, but investigators believe the girl has been missing since 3:30 a.m.

Blairmore is about 137 miles southwest of Calgary near the British Columbia-Alberta border.

Police issued an Amber Alert for the girl and quickly expanded it to British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the U.S. state of Montana. An air and ground search was underway in the region.

Hamori, RCMP assistant district commander for southern Alberta, said both the death, and the disappearance of the little girl are very troubling.

"This type of incident combined with the scene at the residence that we found is concerning to the highest degree both to the RCMP" and local community, he told reporters.

Blanchette worked as a cook at a bar in a nearby town and Monday was his day off, the bar's manager Tammy Tracey said.

"He was a good worker and a good father. He did anything for his daughter, he loved her dearly. He was a good dad. He lived for her," Tracey said.

Hailey's mother, Cheyenne Dunbar, rushed from her home in Edmonton to be with relatives near her former boyfriend's home.

"We just pray that whoever has her will keep her safe," Corette Harrington, a family friend, said. "It's heartbreaking to know that when she comes back, her dad's not going to be there."

Dunbar and Blanchette shared custody of the girl, Harrington said.