The case of Maleah Davis‘ and the mysterious details surrounding the 4-year-old Houston girl’s disappearance, continues to haunt family, friends, and those hoping for Davis’ discovery as officials still continue to search for her.
She was reported missing while in the care of Darion Vence, the ex-fiance of her mother Brittany Bowens. Since then the child has made national news, as the developments around her continues to grow suspicious.
Nearly a week and a half later since Davis’ vanished, more information continues to emerge about her, including that she’d been removed from her family’s care as recently as least year following abuse allegations made by Texas Child Protective Services. However, she was placed back in her family’s care in February. She was also in need of special medical attention, having suffered brain injuries following head trauma from a fall.
Although it was initially stated that Davis may have been the victim of abduction, various stories have continued to unfold regarding her disappearance. Here are six things to know about the ongoing case of Maleah Davis:
1. Police have arrested Derion Vence in connection with the disappearance, but has changed his story a number of times
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) May 11, 2019
In the beginning of Davis’ missing case, it was reported that Vence, 26, claimed to have been attacked by three “Hispanic” men while on his way to pick Davis’ mother up from the airport. According to Vence’s initial recount of the alleged abduction, he heard a “popping sound,” similar to that of a blown tire, while traveling with the 4-year-old and his 1-year-old son, Kourtland Vence, to George Bush International Airport.
When Vence pulled over, he reported that another vehicle, containing three male passengers, approached the suspecting family, to which Vence then claimed one of the men said, “Maleah looks very nice, looks very sweet.”
According to Vence’s original story, shortly after the compliment towards his step-daughter, he was knocked unconscious. When he came back to 24 hours later, he noticed the young girl was missing. However, according to officials, Vence’s story has changed on a number of occasions. “I can say that fundamental parts of his story changed throughout the course of our initial interview,” Doug Adolph, a Sugar Land, Tex., police spokesman told CNN.
Vence was arrested and booked Saturday in Harris County, Tex., jail on suspicion of “tampering with evidence, namely a corpse” and is currently being held on $45,000 bond.
2. Brittany Bowens, Maleah’s mother, now believes the girl’s stepfather played a role in her disappearance:
According to CNN, Davis’ mother, who originally “did not want to believe by any stretch of the imagination” that Vence might have been involved in the child’s disappearance” now says that she believes he was involved in her daughter’s disappearance.
During a recent on-camera interview, Bowens broke down crying, while she said through sobs, “So many thoughts going on in my mind. What could’ve happened? She is loving. She is creative. She is smart.”
Not long after, Bowens was spotted Monday at Vence’s hearing, where she was heckled outside of the courtroom by people who felt she failed to do enough to protect her daughter.
WHERE IS MALEAH? Protesters accused Maleah Davis' mom of not doing enough to protect her 4-year-old daughter. She is still missing, and the mom's ex-fiance has been charged with tampering with evidence, namely a corpse. https://t.co/EAFcA8Y6fu pic.twitter.com/qrOCVe5DAY
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) May 13, 2019
3. Brittany Bowens also believes her child is dead
Quanell X, a local civil rights activist, speaking on behalf of Maleah’s mother to NBC News, said she thinks that Bowens believes her daughter is no longer alive, but still wishes to recover her body.
He told reporters that Bowens said Maleah was being abused by Vence and that he did harm her and that he is urging Bowens to disclose everything she knows about the suspect and victim:
“We need mom to do the right thing and tell everything she knows. And we need the truth about what happened to young Maleah, to come out. And I do believe that she is the victim of foul [play].”
.. Just now: activist Quannel X comforts #MaleahDavis’s mom and makes explosive new claims in case. Says evidence shows crime committed in apartment. UNCONFIRMED with HPD. Here’s a bit of what he said about Maleah’s stepdad. @KHOU #khou11 #htownrush pic.twitter.com/acw9RPl0qo
— Jason Miles (@JMilesKHOU) May 10, 2019
4. The last known footage of Maleah alive has emerged, and she is seen entering her Vence’s home, but never exiting
According to KHOU, officials say they found traces of blood evidence linked to the girl in Vence’s apartment. Surveillance video shows footage of Davis alive, girl going into Vence’s apartment, but never leaving. However, cameras do show the suspect leaving his apartment carrying laundry basket, stuffed with a black garbage bag.
This is heartbreaking to see, especially on #MothersDay. Surveillance pics show the last time sources say Maleah Davis was seen alive. She was wearing a pink tutu and walking into her apartment with her mom’s ex-fiancé. Police say she never came out again. https://t.co/OwSM1roTDV pic.twitter.com/IqzZOFfEoz
— Pooja Lodhia (@PoojaOnTV) May 12, 2019
5. The suspect’s family believes he is innocent.
“He wants the world to know he’s innocent,” Joe Vence said of the suspect.
“We had conversations about our family. He’s very strong, he’s a good man. Once God is with you, the whole world, the whole city, everybody can be against you. We’re a strong, praying family, God is on our side. God is with my brother. So I have no words.”
Vence also went on to profess his love and support of the alleged victim.
“Maleah, I love her, and hopefully they get all of this straightened out.”
6. Maleah Davis’ biological father, Craig Davis, insists only Vence can say what happened to his daughter
“There are so many unanswered questions. It’s not for the public to answer for me. It’s nto for police to answer for me,” he told KTRK. “It’s not for the news to answer for me. It’s for Darion to answer for me!”
Davis’ cousin, Tamisha Mendoza, told KRIV: “He loved his daughter. His daughter has been ripped away from him. He’s devastated.”
Davis’ father recently posted an Instagram photo collage and video montage in light of his daughter’s disappearance:
View this post on Instagram
MEMORIES OF MALEAH?: The biological father of 4-year-old Maleah Davis, the little girl at the center of a weeklong search, took to social media to share an emotional tribute to his daughter. #MaleahDavis #4yearoldgirlmissing #fatheranddaughter #daddyanddaughter #tribute #WhereisMaleahDavis #hpd #houstonchildmissing #texasequusearch #fox26news #fox26forlife #fox26houston #fox26newshouston