In a new interview, Brittany Bowens, the mother of Maleah Davis, the 4-year-old who went missing in Houston on May 4, said she holds out hope that her daughter is alive.
"As a mother, I want to hope that she is [still alive]," Bowens told ABC13 Eyewitness News. She continued: "Where is she? How did she feel before? What was she thinking about? Will I ever find out what really happened to her?"
Bowens reportedly left Maleah in the care of Derion Vence, her ex-fiancé with whom she had recently ended her engagement, to fly to Massachusetts for her father's funeral. Vence originally told Bowens that he, Maleah, and his 1-year-old son were abducted by three men, and that he and the boy were released but Maleah is still missing.
But police said his story kept shifting and didn't add up. Authorities also said they found blood evidence linked to Maleah in the apartment he shared with Bowens and Maleah. He has been charged in connection with the disappearance, and is currently being held in jail.
Bowens said she left Maleah with Vence because she trusted him, and that she initially wanted to believe his story. But then he began to ignore her phone calls and texts, and denied her an in-person meeting. "I didn't know that after burying my father, I'd have to come home to this," she told ABC13.
Bowens also shared her thoughts about security footage from May 3 that reportedly shows Vence carrying multiple bottles of bleach in and out of the apartment, and a laundry basket containing a black garbage bag. Police said they found the laundry basket in the trunk of his car, along with a gas can.
"I couldn't [help] but ask, 'Is that Maleah?'" Bowens said. "Why do you have that basket when you just got laundry from my mother on the 1st? What are you doing with the basket? What is that? I know our routine. That's not laundry."
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
The police is asking anyone with information on this case to contact the Houston Police Department Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS.