Maliyah Bass was the center of an Amber Alert after her mother said she left the toddler alone on the playground outside of their apartment for a couple of minutes while she cooked breakfast the morning of Aug. 22.
The 2-year-old's father lives in Dallas and said he got a call from detectives that day when he got off work.
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"He asked, 'Do you have your daughter?'" Octavious Bass recalled. "I was like, 'No' and they were like, 'She's been missing since 7:00 this morning.' In my mind, I was wondering what is a child doing outside at 7 o'clock in the morning."
Bass said he never imagined the 2-year-old would be found dead.
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"When I found out, all I could do was break down and really cry, because it hurt my heart because I only really got to see her one time," Bass said.
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Bass said the last time he saw Maliyah was in 2019 when he had her in Dallas for about a month.
Bass said he called Maliyah's maternal grandmother the day before the girl was reported missing, asking if he could bring her back to Dallas to spend time with him.
💔 “I TRIED TO BE SO STRONG, BUT I JUST COULDN’T”: I just spoke to 2-year-old Maliyah Bass’ father who lives in Dallas. He was in Houston this weekend to visit the park and apartments where her mother says the toddler was last seen. #justiceformaliyah https://t.co/E36Ad3lmET pic.twitter.com/y6vilnCR0C— Mycah Hatfield (@MycahABC13) September 1, 2020
After hearing the story given to police about the child being left alone on a playground, he is asking, "Why?"
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"They say she walked in the house for five minutes to cook breakfast and she came out and she was gone," Bass said. "It doesn't matter if it was five minutes, two minutes, one minute - why would you do that?"
While he waits on the person who killed his daughter to be arrested, Bass made a trip to Houston over the weekend to see the apartment where she was reportedly last seen.
"I put my head down and I shed a couple of tears," Bass said. "I tried to be strong or whatever. I tried to be so strong, but I just couldn't. I couldn't be strong. I had to bust out in tears, because it hurt so bad to see somebody harm my 2-year-old child."
Bass has a son older than Maliyah, who he told that she died. He said he cannot imagine hurting a child.
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