On Friday, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Texas released the cause and manner of death in connection with 4-year-old Houston girl, Maleah Davis.
Authorities confirmed that Maleah died from homicidal violence. Her official cause of death was listed as homicide. The method in which the little girl was killed, however, has not been released.
Derion Vence, the former boyfriend of Maleah’s mother, was arrested last month and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with Maleah’s death. He remains behind bars in Houston but maintains he didn’t kill the little girl.
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“Nothing bad happened to Maleah,” Vence told ABC 13 reporter Chauncey Glover during an interview earlier this month.
Yet, Vence allegedly told community activist Quanell X where to find Maleah’s body during a previous jailhouse interview last month. On May 31, authorities found the little girl in a remote area in Fulton, Arkansas, the same place Vence allegedly pointed out to Quanell.
The little girl had been stuffed into a bag and discarded off the side of a road.
By the time authorities found Maleah, a maintenance crew worker had accidentally run over her body with a mower, making it difficult for the medical examiner’s office to figure out exactly how she died. Acevedo said the final medical examiner’s report isn’t yet finished.
“The M.E. has ruled that the [cause of death] was homicidal violence, but the report is not done,” Acevedo said during a Friday press conference, according to Patch. “In terms of the final M.E.’s report, we’re still waiting for that.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Maleah was last seen alive via security footage on April 30. Her mother, Brittany Bowens, left Maleah and a younger sibling in the care of Vence while she attended an out-of-state funeral.
On May 4, Vence contacted police from a Sugar Land hospital and claimed Maleah had been abducted by Hispanic men on May 3. Vence said he stopped to look at the tires on his car in Sugar Land, when three unknown men pulled up in a blue truck and hit him over the head.
Vence reportedly claimed he was in and out of consciousness until the next day. When he woke up, Maleah was gone.
It was all a lie, according to police.
“We strongly believe he knows where she’s at and if he wanted to tell us, he would,” Acevedo said last month, adding that the suspect’s lies are so big “you could drive a big rig through it.”
On May 11, police arrested Vence after they found blood evidence inside his Houston apartment that matched to Maleah. Cadaver dogs picked up on possible human decomposition scents inside the trunk of his car.
Bowens, who faced public backlash for leaving Maleah with Vence, has not been charged in connection with the case. However, Acevedo stated that the investigation is far from over.
“We are proceeding this case to every path it needs to go, we are leaving no stone unturned, and the end of the day, our hope and prayer is that we will charge the person or persons responsible for her death with the appropriate charges.”
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Maleah Davis/Handout]