After Houston authorities announced that they had located human remains in a trash bag in Arkansas, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has confirmed that the remains belong to missing four-year-old girl Maleah Davis.
For nearly a month, authorities had embarked on a frantic search for the little girl who was last seen on May third. His mother’s former fiancé, Darion Vence concocted an elaborate story about three Hispanics who attacked him and two children and ultimately kidnapped Maleah.
As evidence mounted, Police arrested Vence a week later, charging him with evidence tampering.
“Police arrested Vence, who was the boyfriend of Maleah’s mother, on May 11 after they found blood evidence inside his Houston apartment that matched to the little girl, and after cadaver dogs picked up on possible human decomposition scents inside the trunk of his car.”
Since his arrest, Vence has not cooperated with police in the investigation. That it, until a local activist got involved.
"Texas community activist Quanell X said he managed to elicit a confession of where Maleah’s remains were during a Friday morning jailhouse interview with 26-year-old Derion Vence, who’s behind bars for tampering with evidence in connection with Maleah’s disappearance.”
Medical examiners are working to determine the cause of death for the little girl, but it may be a difficult task. But, unfortunately, a huge obstacle to that goal occurred.
“A road crew in Fulton, Arkansas, found a black trash bag emitting a foul odor along Interstate 30, three days prior to Vence’s alleged confession, but apparently Arkansas authorities had not yet followed up on the tip.”
During that three-day period, an unfortunate event intervened.
“On Friday, maintenance crews mowing the area ran over the same bag with a lawnmower.
“Officials arrived to the scene and determined that the scattered remains were of a child. Authorities found clothing and jewelry at the scene that led them to believe they had found Maleah.”
Due to the condition of the remains, authorities spent "hours" gathering body parts and other evidence.
According to Tim Miller of EquuSearch, who witnessed the remains:
“It was a gruesome sight. It was a terrible sight to see. It took hours gathering up body parts and evidence,” said Miller.
For now, forensic teams are doing their best to work with what little remains.
“They’re doing an autopsy to determine the cause of death. I think it’s going to be impossible,” said Miller.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo issued a statement concerning the sad turn of events.
For now, no official cause of death has been announced, nor has the name of the person they think caused Maleah’s death.
In the meantime, Vence remains in custody on the original charges but has not been charged with murder.
According to the Harris County District Attorney's Office, “The defendant remains charged with tampering with a corpse. Prosecutors continue their review and are working with Houston Police. Additional charges would be filed as the evidence supports doing so.
“We remain focused on finding the truth and delivering justice for Maleah."