Maleah Davis: Family member knew little girl was dead, helped ‘stepdad’ & knew where body was, community activist says

A family member of the suspect tied to 4-year-old Maleah Davis’ disappearance and death may have helped the man, according to community activist, Quanell X.

Derion Vence, the boyfriend of Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, is currently behind bars on tampering with evidence charges in connection with Maleah. The little girl’s remains were found earlier this week and Vence could possibly be facing murder charges soon.

According to Quanell, Vence did not act alone. The activist said one of the suspect’s family members not only may have helped the man hide out after Maleah disappeared, but also knew where Vence allegedly hid her body.

Authorities found the child’s remains in Arkansas on May 31, over 300 miles away from the Houston apartment she lived in with Vence and Bowens before she vanished.

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“I believe that there is one family member of Derion who I’ve already told them who I believe this family member is, from my conversations with that particular family member also, that he knew where the body was placed,” Quanell told FOX 26.

“He helped hide Derion out from authorities so they couldn’t speak to him. And I believe he knew about the whereabouts of where Maleah was.”

Quanell didn’t specify who he thought the family member was, but last month, the U.S. Marshals found Vence at his brother’s home in Sugar Land. Vence’s brother, Joe Vence, has since moved, according to his father.

READ MORE: ‘I’m about to get a Lifetime movie out of this’: Derion Vence’s father pins entire blame on mom in Maleah Davis disappearance

Quanell, who briefly spoke on Bowens’ behalf last month, said she should be charged in connection with Maleah’s death as well, since she allegedly knew of prior physical abuse and did nothing to stop it. He also thinks Vence, who reportedly showed zero remorse, should be charged with murder.

“I believe that Derion has to be charged with murder. He has to be charged with taking the life of young Maleah and held absolutely accountable for that. This man had no remorse. None whatsoever when I sat down and talked to him.”

Maleah Davis
Maleah Davis [Handout]
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Quanell said he managed to elicit a confession of where Maleah’s remains were during a Friday morning jailhouse interview with Vence.

Police arrested Vence 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.

Vence reported Maleah missing on May 4, but his outlandish story of three Hispanic men hitting him over the head before abducting Maleah never sat right with authorities.

According to Quanell, 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.

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.

Maleah Davis
Maleah Davis [Police Handout]
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.

Police are now waiting on autopsy results so they can hopefully learn the official cause of death, which may be difficult, if not impossible to determine, according to Miller.

“They’re doing an autopsy to determine the cause of death. I think it’s going to be impossible,” Miller added.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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

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[Feature Photo: Maleah Davis/Handout]