Amber Alert: 4-year-old Maleah Davis was removed from her home last year over abuse allegations
Missing toddler Maleah Davis and her two brothers were reportedly removed from their home last year after reports of abuse. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said that the three children were placed with a relative after physical abuse allegations emerged linked to a head injury that she had in August last year. A judge had ordered that they return home in February and had called for CPS to maintain temporary conservatorship and visit the home at least once a month for a welfare check.
CNN reported that the toddler has been missing since May 4. Her stepfather Darion Vence claimed that he, Maleah and his son were abducted by three Hispanic men who knocked him out for almost 24 hours. Vence told detectives that he woke up on the side of the road with his son but Maleah was nowhere to be seen, according to an earlier report by MEA WorldWide (MEAWW).
CPS told the publication that they are currently investigating the case and looking for Maleah along with law enforcement agencies. In a press conference that was held on May 5, Houston police Sgt. Mark Holbrook said that Maleah had previously undergone multiple brain surgeries, including one that happened recently. He also said that the surgeries were done to help an injury heal.
The police sergeant continued: "She's needed a lot of care. This week she was sick too." Authorities are now on the lookout for three suspects, the reported pickup blue truck and the toddler.
Maleah is described as being 3 feet tall and weighs 30 to 40lbs. She was last seen wearing a light blue Under Armour jacket, blue jeans, gray Under Armour tennis shoes with pink and white details, and a pink bow in her hair. She had been on her way with her stepfather and stepbrother to the airport to pick up her mother when Vence said he heard a "popping noise" like a tire popping. He told the police that he pulled over to check and that's when the pickup truck pulled up behind his vehicle.
Two Hispanic men allegedly got out of the truck and one of them allegedly commented: "the girl looks very nice, looks very sweet". The other man then hit Vence on the head and he lost consciousness. Vence said that he briefly regained consciousness and found himself in the back of the truck with Maleah and his son. The three suspects were also in the vehicle and Vence said he was in and out of consciousness until around 6 pm on May 4.
He said that when he finally woke up on Highway 6, only his son was there but Maleah was missing. Vence said that he walked to a nearby hospital where he received treatment and then reported his stepdaughter missing.
Brittany Bowens, Maleah's mother, told KTRK that she feels "so lost". In between her sobs, she said that losing the child is "too much to bear". She told the outlet: "I can't concentrate, I can't focus. It's so overwhelming for me. It doesn't seem real."
Holbrook said in the news conference that Bowens had been returning from a trip and got another family member to pick her up from the airport when Vence did not show up with the children. She said: "(There's) so many thoughts going on in my mind on what could have happened." She added that her daughter is a kind, loving, creative and smart young girl.
Authorities have posted a representative picture of the blue pickup truck that Vence said the suspects were driving. An Amber Alert described the car as a blue, crew-cab Chevy pickup truck that is possibly a 2010 model. The authorities said that the car Vence was driving was a silver Nissan Altima that belongs to Bowens. This vehicle is also missing. A traffic camera has captured an image of Bowens' car driving through an intersection in Sugar Land, a suburb of Houston, shortly before 3 pm on May 4 afternoon.