A community activist and spokesperson speaking on behalf of the family of Maleah Davis—the missing 4-year-old girl from Houston, Texas—revealed graphic details about what allegedly happened to the child at the hands of her mother’s fiancé.
“Many people did not know that he had dismembered this beautiful baby,” community activist Quanell X told Houston CBS affiliate KHOU, referring to 26-year-old Derion Vence. “There was blood spatter evidence around the drainage area of the house. Why would human body tissue be in the drain system?”
While police haven’t confirmed whether or not Quanell’s statement holds any truth, Vence, who told police that Maleah was randomly abducted by a group of Hispanic men on May 3rd, was arrested Saturday (May 11) and is currently in jail on $1 million bond on suspicion of tampering with evidence.
The “evidence” in this case is a human corpse, though police have not confirmed whether Maleah’s body has been found. Maleah remains missing and hasn’t been seen in nearly two weeks, though at this point, it is believed that she is deceased.
Houston police said blood evidence found in Vence’s apartment was linked to Maleah, and on top of that, Vence was seen on security cameras leaving his apartment with his 1-year-old son carrying a laundry basket with a black trash bag inside.
Houston police added that the laundry basket was found along with a gas can in the trunk of the vehicle that Vence had reported stolen.
Police said two canine officers trained to sniff out the scent of dead bodies were brought to Vence’s car, and both dogs reacted to Vence’s trunk, indicating that they sense human decomposition inside the vehicle.
“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,” Harris County prosecutor Pat Stayton said, per the Star Tribune.
Police also said they observed drops of blood in the hallway leading to the bathroom of Vence’s apartment and on various surfaces in the bathroom.
Vence told police that on the night of May 3rd, he was on his way to Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas with Maleah and his 1-year-old son to pick up Maleah’s mother, his fiancée, Brittany Bowens.
Vence said he pulled over on the highway to check his tires after hearing a popping noise while driving.
As Vence was checking his vehicle, he claims three Hispanic men driving a 2010 blue Chevrolet pickup truck pulled up, apparently offering to help.
Police said Vence told them he was ambushed by the men, with one of them hitting him across his head, and he lost consciousness.
Vence said the next thing he knew, he woke up on the side of another highway the next day around 6 p.m. on May 4th. He said his son was with him, but Maleah wasn’t, suggesting that the three Hispanic men had kidnapped the girl.
Vence said he then walked to the hospital to seek treatment for his and his son’s “injuries” and reported Maleah missing, while Bowens had another family member to pick her up from the airport when Vence and the kids didn’t arrive on time.
Bowens filed a police report the morning of Saturday, May 4th after not hearing from Vence, and an Amber Alert was issued for Maleah Davis on May 5th.
Doubts about Vence’s story quickly arose after police said he changed key details about what happened during Maleah’s alleged kidnapping multiple times.
“During the initial interview, the man’s story did change several times and some of what he told us just didn’t add up,” Sugar Land police spokesperson Doug Adolph said.
Police also said that security footage showed Vence being dropped off at the hospital, contradicting his story that he walked to the hospital with his toddler son.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, believes Vence became angry after a confrontation he had with her the day before she left on a trip to Massachusetts for her father’s funeral.
According to Bowens’ attorney, Bowens asked Vence about nude pictures he allegedly sent to another person and he “snapped.”