When the story first came out, the entire city of Houston was up in arms. There can never be anything more tragic than when a very young child mysteriously vanishes.
Now, days later, the entire nation has been pulled in to the sad tale of four-year-old Maleah Davis who has not been seen since May third.
The details concerning her disappearance are sketchy at best, with her stepfather Darion Vence insisting that the little girl had been abducted by three men “in a pickup truck.”
It’s what happened next that has caused Police to question his account of what happened.
A massive search was undertaken based on Vence’s story, but since then, inconsistencies are coming to light.
According to Fox26, “The Houston Police Department that Darion Vence is now a 'person of interest,' after claiming that Maleah Davis was kidnapped by the men after he was beaten unconscious but, eventually, he and his 2-year-old son were allowed to go free.”
“Initially, police said [Vence] told detectives that he walked to the hospital after being in and out of consciousness for almost 24 hours before reporting her missing.
“But then, officials from the Sugar Land Police Department -- which is helping Houston police with the investigation -- told Fox 26 Tuesday afternoon that Vence said he was dropped off, making his story inconsistent.”
As the search continues, Maleah’s mother Brittany Bowens has made a tearful appeal to the public to help find her little girl.
“I’m terrified for Maleah.” Says the heartbroken mom.
“My spirit is so broken. I feel so lost. I can’t concentrate, I can’t focus.
"It’s just so overwhelming for me. It just doesn’t seem real.
"If there’s anyone that can help me…PLEASE."
Meanwhile, the search for the little girl had had to be suspended on Tuesday due to the severe storms that were passing through the Houston area. Authorities are hopeful that they can resume on Wednesday.
The Houston Police Department said officials issued an Amber Alert on Sunday morning for Davis after Vence reported his stepdaughter missing on Saturday night, telling investigators three men abducted him and the two children Friday evening.
Before she vanished, Maleah had had more than her share of difficulties in her short life. The little girl recently had brain surgery and was feeling ill lately.
According to abc13, “Time is of the essence in the search. Maleah has had several brain surgeries and requires medications and constant care.”
Child Protective Services officials told KTRK-TV that "Maleah was returned to her home in February -- about six months after she was removed last August from her home when the agency investigated allegations of physical abuse related to a head injury she sustained.
“Brittany Bowens, Davis' mother, told the television station the injury was determined to have been caused by a fall, and that she is currently terrified for her daughter."
On Friday night, when Maleah was allegedly abducted, “the girl's stepfather, Darion Vence, said he pulled over, with Maleah and his 1-year-old son, to check his tires because he heard a popping noise near Greens Road and Highway 59.
“The family was on the way to pick up Bowens from Bush Intercontinental Airport. Bowens said she had just returned to Houston after attending her father's funeral.
“As Vence was checking his vehicle, he claims three Hispanic men in a 2010 blue Chevrolet crew cab pickup truck pulled up.”
That’s when it all went down, according to Vence.
He claims to have been hit on the head and he doesn’t remember anything until he woke up along the side of the highway.
His son was with him, but Maleah was not.
“Police said Vence went to Houston Methodist Hospital in Sugar Land around 11 p.m. to seek treatment for his injuries with his son.”
No police report was filed until Saturday morning when the mother called the police to report her daughter missing. She claimed to have been alarmed by not hearing from Vence all night long.
Craig Davis, Maleah's biological father is devastated by the news, saying simply that "There are so many unanswered questions." And that he intends to speak to Vence to get the answers that have not come.
Please join us in praying that Maleah is found right away and that she is safe, sound, and back in her home just as soon as possible.