Police searching for missing Houston girl say body of child found

Maleah Davis

Enlarge Image Maleah Davis AP

Derion Vence, 27, the ex-fiancé of the girl's mother, reported Maleah missing earlier this month, saying that three men had kidnapped her May 4 when he stopped to check on a flat tire while he was driving to George Bush Intercontinental Airport the previous night.

"He says Vence told him that Maleah's death was an accident and that he admitted to dumping Maleah's body in a ditch in Arkansas", Fox 26 wrote in its report.

Vence lived in Houston with the missing 4-year-old's mother and was caring for the girl while her mother was out of town. Bowens has not been charged or accused in her daughter's disappearance but Quanell says Bowens knows what happened to Maleah.

Houston Police Commander Michael Skillern gave an update on the search for Maleah Davis, who disappeared in Houston.

The focus of the search moved to Arkansas after the suspect in her disappearance allegedly confessed to dumping her body there, almost a month after Maleah was reported missing in Texas.

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The search for a missing girl 4-year-old girl out of Houston has reportedly shifted east to Arkansas, and investigators may have found something of interest.

Vence is being held on a $40,000 bond and was charged with tampering with evidence, specifically a human corpse. Maleah had been missing from Houston for almost a month before Derion Vence reportedly offered his confession, Fox 26 reported.

The bag was located by workers who noticed a foul odor coming from inside it, Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton added. Quanell X, a local civil rights activist, spoke to reporters on Bowens' behalf on Friday alleged Vence had abused Maleah.

"Every time I walk out from my apartment what I see is where she used to live", Jania Soto said. At some point, he told police, he heard a popping noise and went to check on it. A group of men pulled up behind him, he said, and knocked him unconscious for almost 24 hours.

"Both of the dogs reacted to the trunk of the silver Nissan that the defendant had driven and that the blue laundry basket was recovered from, indicating that the dogs were responding to the scent of human decomposition in the vehicle", Stayton said.

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He then walked to a nearby hospital where he received treatment for injuries he said he sustained in the alleged abduction, and reported Maleah missing, police said. "He's not his attorney", Vence said.

But detectives have collected evidence that contradict his account, according to court documents.

Investigators also saw surveillance video captured from the porch of an apartment next door to Vence's, the affidavit said.

Child Protective Services removed Maleah and her brothers from the apartment Vence and Bowens shared in August after the girl suffered a head wound, but the children were returned in February, according to an agency spokeswoman.

The footage shows Maleah entering the apartment, but she never comes back out.

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