Authorities confirmed Monday that remains found in and around a trash bag in Arkansas last week are those of a missing 4-year-old Texas girl, Maleah Davis.
CBS reports that the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed on Monday that testing concluded that the remains found were indeed of little Maleah, who was reported missing nearly a month ago, on May 4. The remains were found near a freeway in Hope, Arkansas. The cause and manner of death are still pending.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 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.
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.
According to Quanell, who was briefly the spokesperson for Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, Vence told him where he dumped the little girl’s body and what happened prior to Maleah’s death that may have brought about the traumatic incident.
“He felt like he was just totally overwhelmed, because Brittany wasn’t being the mother she should be being,” Quanell said of Vence. “He took care of the kids; 90% of the time Brittany was not there…He felt she was not fit as a mother…He felt overwhelmed with his responsibility to Maleah in particular.”
Vence allegedly told Quanell that he put Maleah in a trash bag and drove a little over five hours from Houston to Arkansas, where he got out of his car and dumped Maleah’s body in a remote area on the side of the road.
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.
On Friday, maintenance crews mowing the area ran over the same bag with a lawn mower. 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.
“There are some personal effects that lead us to believe it is Maleah,” Sgt. Mark Holbrook with the Houston Police Department told KHOU 11 News.
One of the personal effects included a tiny pink barrette, that apparently choked up Texas Equusearch founder, Tim Miller, who took a plane to Arkansas shortly after the alleged jailhouse interview.
“It was a gruesome sight. It was a terrible sight to see. It took hours gathering up body parts and evidence,” Miller said last week.
Miller, however, who has been searching for Maleah since the beginning of her disappearance, said that he doesn’t “regret one minute of one day that we searched.”
No one has been charged in Maleah’s death yet, but authorities said last week that murder charges may follow after they got official word on the autopsy.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Maleah Davis/Handout]