Sources say police now investigating gas can found in trunk, as search for Maleah moves to stepdad’s remote mail route

PLUS: Stepdad makes eerie statement prior to little girl’s disappearance

A Houston man suspected of foul play in the disappearance of 4-year-old Maleah Davis made an eerie statement previously, when he worked as a mail carrier, delivering mail to a rural area.

Derion Vence, 26, is the primary suspect in the disappearance of 4-year-old Maleah Davis. The little girl was seen alive on April 30, captured on security footage walking to a Houston area apartment with Vence, her mother’s boyfriend. She was never seen again. Vence claimed three Hispanic men beat him up and abducted the girl on May 3, but Sugar Land police told CrimeOnline that the man had holes in his story from the beginning.

A source involved with the search confirmed to CrimeOnline that Vence worked as a mail carrier for nearly a year and had a route along a secluded area in Rosharon. The Texas Equusearch team has been searching along the route, including at the Creepy Hollow Haunted House in Rosharon for the past few days, in hopes of finding the little girl.

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The same source also indicated Vence, who worked as a mail carrier and had a route along a secluded area in Rosharon, told family members that the area would be a good place to hide a body. The statement was allegedly made around a year ago, well before Maleah disappeared.

Houston police indicated earlier this week that they don’t believe little Maleah is alive at this point, after cadaver dogs picked up on possible human decomposition in the trunk of the Nissan Altima Vence drove during the time he said Maleah vanished. Authorities also found a gas can in the trunk of the car, and blood evidence inside Vence’s apartment that matched back to Maleah.

Police found the Nissan in Missouri City, Texas, around eight miles away from Rosharon. The source said authorities took the computer out of the vehicle and are currently trying to track where the car has been driven.

The source also said police are currently searching stores and CCTV footage in the area, trying to determine when and where Vence obtained a gas can.

Alleged Abuse Prior to Disappearance

Prior to Maleah’s disappearance, her mother, Brittany Bowens, and biological father, Craig Davis, were the centerpieces of an investigation by Child Protective Services, after the little girl developed a head injury so severe that she had to have several surgeries. One surgery consisted of removing parts of her skull.

Speaking on the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ show, former medical examiner Dr. Kris Sperry said the skull removal was a “life-saving measure” since Maleah’s brain was so swollen.

“This is a life saving measure. But what it also tells me is how severe the injury was to Maleah’s brain to cause such massive, uncontrolled swelling that they had to remove half of the skull in order to allow the brain to swell and expand without damaging the brain itself.”

Maleah remains missing. Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Houston Police Department at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Click here to see all of CrimeOnline’s coverage on Maleah Davis. 

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[Feature Photo: Maleah Davis/Handout]