A week has gone by since four-year-old Maleah Davis was reported missing after she was allegedly abducted from her step-father’s car in Houston. Now, her mother believes he might have something to do with Maleah’s disappearance.
Last Friday, Derion Vence was reportedly on his way to pick up Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, who was out of town seeing family, from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Maleah and his one-year-old son were in the car when he pulled over to check a possible flat tire. It was then that Vence claims three Hispanic men attacked him around 9 p.m. CT, knocking him unconscious. According to Vence’s initial report to the police, he blacked out until 6 p.m. Saturday. When he regained consciousness, he was in Sugar Land, TX, just over 40 miles away from the airport. His son was with him, but Maleah was gone. Vence sought medical attention at a nearby hospital four hours later where he reported her missing. He also reported his car, a Nissan Altima, stolen.
"During the initial interview, the man's story did change several times and some of what he told us just didn't add up," Doug Adolph, the spokesman for Sugar Land police, said to local ABC station KTRK.
Vence has not been seen since. According to homicide detective Ken Fregia of the Houston Police Department, police are still “actively searching” for Vence and don’t seem to know if he’s missing. In a statement made on Thursday, Fregia said he recalls the last time they spoke with him was Saturday, the day after Maleah’s alleged abduction. Vence is not facing any charges and police do not currently consider him a suspect, reports the Houston Chronicle.
His car was discovered not far from Sugar Land in a Missouri City, TX parking lot Thursday morning. The police are running tests, but a preliminary search of the vehicle did not reveal anything suspicious.
Bowens stood by community activist Quanell X in a news conference one week after her daughter’s disappearance. “On the day that Brittany left to be with her sick father — her dying father — to be with family, there was a huge fight between her and him,” said Quanell X, referring to Vence. “He was hurt, he was angry, he was upset.” Bowens had reportedly broken off the couple’s engagement and believes Maleah’s disappearance was triggered by the argument they had the day before she left to be with family.
Quanell X went on to say that he had seen surveillance video that allegedly captured Vence walking out of his apartment with bleach, a laundry container, and a black bag the same day Maleah went missing. Another video was also released showing Vence walking into the hospital with his one-year-old son the following day. The footage was shared by KTRK.
Court documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle show that Maleah’s grandmother, Brenda Bowens, tried to have Maleah and her two siblings come live with her rather than in foster care when a Child Protective Services investigation began last August. The investigation was regarding “possible physical abuse,” according to a CPS spokesperson. Maleah suffered from an unexplained head injury which resulted in a serious surgery. Bowens’ mother claims that she was told Maleah had “fallen from a tall chair to a marble table.” Maleah was also hospitalized in July 2018 after vomiting with small amounts of blood, according to court records. Further court documents from January 2019 show that Maleah and her siblings returned to their family after doctors couldn’t confirm that her injuries were caused by abuse. All three children returned home in February.