The man who reportedly last saw slain Texas girl Maleah Davis alive has been officially indicted on tampering with evidence charges, and authorities say more charges could possibly follow.
Derion Vence, 26, has been behind bars since May after his former girlfriend’s daughter, 4-year-old Maleah, vanished while in his care. Police arrested Vence a few weeks prior to finding the little girl’s remains. On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Vence on tampering with evidence charges, court records indicate.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Vence, the former boyfriend of Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, has been the only person arrested so far in the case.
Maleah was last seen alive via security footage on April 30. Bowens reportedly left the state at some point on April 30, supposedly leaving Maleah and a younger sibling in the care of Vence while she attended a 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,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said earlier this year, 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 has faced severe public scrutiny for leaving Maleah alone with Vence, according to Chron. Acevedo is aware of the scrutiny and said detectives are “leaving no stone unturned.”
In late May, Vence allegedly told community activist Quanell X where to find Maleah’s body during a jailhouse interview. 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.
In June, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Texas announced that Maleah’s cause of death was homicidal violence. However, authorities are still waiting on the results of a final autopsy, which could bring additional charges.
“The M.E. has ruled that the [cause of death] was homicidal violence, but the report is not done,” Acevedo said during a June press conference, according to Patch. “In terms of the final M.E.’s report, we’re still waiting for that.”
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Maleah Davis/Handout]