Authorities say they found the girl and her father at a home in the 1200 block of North Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim at about 11:20 a.m. The girl was unharmed.
The search started when Placentia police say they received a call about a domestic violence incident from a Best Western on the 100 block of West Orangethorpe Avenue at about 4:30 a.m.
Investigators say the male suspect, identified as Tony Nicholas, left the scene before officers arrived.
The 35-year-old reportedly threatened to take his daughter, Natalia Nicholas, across state lines, possibly to Las Vegas. Authorities say he used force and stole the child's mother's purse.