The case of missing Houston girl Maleah Davis took a grim turn Friday after an activist claimed the suspect in the case confessed to killing the 4-year-old and dumping her body in Arkansas.
Activist Quanell X, the former spokesman for Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, met with reporters in a southwest Houston parking lot where he shared shocking details on information he allegedly received from Derion Vence, the man charged in the little girl’s disappearance, ABC 13 reported.
Vence, who was formerly engaged to Maleah’s mother, was arrested May 13 and jailed on charges of tampering with evidence, namely a corpse.
Quanell told reporters he met with Vence, who remains behind bars, earlier in the day and said the suspect confirmed Maleah was dead. He said Vence, 26, insisted the death was accidental, however.
“All I can say is he told me it was an accident, and that she is dead and where he dumped her body,” Quanell said.
He didn’t give specifics on how the little girl died.
Maleah was in Vence’s care when she disappeared earlier this month, and her mother was out of town attending a funeral at the time.
The Houston man told police that he, his 1-year-old son and Maleah were carjacked by three Latino men on their way to the airport to retrieve the little girl’s mom, Brittany Bowens. Vence said he stopped to check his tire, when suddenly he was attacked and knocked unconscious.
He woke up on the side of the road several hours later to fine Maleah and the car were gone. His baby boy was unharmed.
Vence told a much bleaker story on Friday, when he reportedly confessed to Quanell that he’d dumped the child’s body in Arkansas. The activist stopped just short of saying where in Arkansas Maleah’s remains were, but said Vence was specific about the “distance and time” of the body’s location.
“He said he pulled over in Arkansas, got out of the car, walked off the side of the road, and dumped her body off the side of the road,” Quanell told reporters.
Tim Miller, founder of Texas EquuSearch, was also present for the news conference and said his crews were expanding their search to The Natural State in light of the new information. He said he already chartered a flight for Friday.
“I think it’s true enough that I’ve got an airplane lined up at 3 o’clock to go ahead and fly a detective and several of us up there to go ahead and start the search,” Miller said, according to Click2Houston.
Quanell echoed similar sentiments about the validity of Vence’s story, saying: “I think it’s the truth. I don’t think he was lying to me.”
Police haven’t confirmed that Maleah is dead but said they do not believe she’s still alive.
Authorities arrested Vence earlier this month after they say traces of blood matching DNA from Maleah’s toothbrush were found inside the family’s Houston apartment. A neighbor’s surveillance footage caught Vence, 26, leaving the apartment May 3 with a laundry basket and a black garbage bag inside it.
He remains the sole person charged in the case.
Watch more in the video below.