Missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis was likely murdered, says Houston police chief: 'We want the public to come forward'

Derion Vence, described as a fiancée to Maleah's mother, claimed three Hispanic men abducted the little girl and beat him unconscious


                            Missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis was likely murdered, says Houston police chief: 'We want the public to come forward'

Law enforcement in Houston has come to believe that four-year-old Maleah Davis who went missing nearly three weeks ago was murdered. They have appealed to the public to try and remember anything that could provide possible leads to her body's whereabouts.

In an update about the disappearance of Maleah Davis on Thursday, May 24, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo urged the public to try and remember anything suspicious that may be linked to the case. "It seems like everyone's moved on, we have not," he said. Little Maleah went missing on May 4.

"The evidence shows that we believe (Maleah) has been murdered. Let’s bring this baby home, proper burial," said Acevedo. "Without finding that body, there is a hole left out there. We want to give them the closure, of both charges and finding her body."

Derion Vence was arrested by Houston police in the disappearance of his stepdaughter Maleah Davis, 4. (Houston Police Department)

Authorities are offering a reward of $15,000 to anyone with knowledge of Maleah’s disappearance, according to KTRK.

Derion Vence, who is described as her mother's fiancée, has been arrested in connection with Maleah's disappearance as police believe he tampered with evidence. "We really believe we have a little girl that has been murdered," said Acevedo. "We believe she's out there somewhere and want to bring her home. I can sit here and say we're going to find her alive, but I'd be lying to you."

Authorities issued an Amber Alert on May 5 after 26-year-old Vence reported her missing. At the time, he told police he was driving to the airport to pick up Maleah's mother when he heard a popping noise, forcing him to pull over. When he exited the vehicle to have a look, he was attacked by three men who abducted the girl, police said.

Former NYPD detective Bo Dietl had previously told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) that Vence's story did not add up from the beginning. "The police will eventually have to press him to admit the truth of what happened or independently conclude through physical evidence... Unfortunately, with more details being reported the odds of her being found alive are very slim."

According to court documents, Vence was arrested about a week later after the trunk of a car he had driven was smelling of decomposing human remains.

Little Maleah Davis went missing on May 4. (Houston Police Department)

Blood recovered from Vence’s apartment was found to be consistent with DNA from the girl’s toothbrush, and surveillance video shows no sign of Maleah leaving the home, according to court documents. Investigators later found a laundry basket, a gas can and a vehicle thought to be tied to Maleah's disappearance, which prompted them to charge Vence with tampering of evidence. According to online jail records, Vence is being remanded in custody in lieu of $45,000 bail.

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