CALGARY – RCMP have arrested a 22-year-old man in the disappearance of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette.
RCMP issued an Amber Alert on Monday across Alberta, which later expanded to British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Montana. Hours later, RCMP confirmed they’d found the body of her 27-year-old father, Terry Blanchette, in the family home in Blairmore, Alta. His death is being treated as a homicide.
“That person’s been arrested in association with both the homicide and disappearance of Hailey,” said Supt. Tony Hamori at an afternoon press conference.
The man has not yet been charged and his name will not be released at this time. Hamori said he is from the Blairmore community and was taken into custody Tuesday.
“There’s going to be a lot of effort focused around the suspect who was arrested today, but we do have other resources still following up leads that need to be closed off for the investigation,” said Hamori. “It’s clear to me the investigative team wants to keep a wide focus and an open mind at this point in time.”
WATCH: Amanada Blanchette sister of murdered father Terry Blanchette, and Rebecca Harrington who is missing 2-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette’s godmother and close friend of Terry Blanchette speak.
A white van was also located, but RCMP continued its search Tuesday afternoon.
“We have located a white van that we believe is associated to the investigation in the area however it’s too soon to know if it’s exact van we’re looking for,” said Hamori. “The Amber Alert is still in effect with respect to locating this white van and we are looking forward to information from public with regards to the investigation, whether has to do with the homicide aspect, the van or the disappearance of Hailey.”
Watch below: Video coverage of the abduction of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and murder of her father
The Amber Alert was renewed Tuesday at 2:14 p.m. MT.
“We’re all hoping and praying we’ll find her safely,” he said. “Everybody’s primary goal is locate Hailey safe and sound and return her to her family. We have the parallel aspect of the father’s homicide to deal with too…This is the toughest kind of case for police officers to deal with when you’re dealing with a missing child in a circumstance like this.”
RCMP have been speaking with Hailey’s mother, Cheyenne Dunbar, but wouldn’t comment on whether she is involved in the disappearance.
“I can’t comment at this point in time. Police have been speaking with her, obviously a follow-up investigation is going to be done on all information that we receive.”
Hailey is described as Caucasian with a small build, light brown, straight hair with bangs, and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crowsnest Pass RCMP at 403-562-2866.
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