There have been shocking new developments in the case of Maleah Davis, the 4-year-old Houston girl whose disappearance gripped the nation. The search for the young girl came to a grim end last week when her remains were recovered along a freeway in southwest Arkansas.
However, several questions remain about Maleah’s tragic demise.
What will happen to the reward money?
It was Houston community activist Quanell X who gleaned the confession from suspect Derion Vence, 27, that led police to the remains of the missing girl last Friday. The reward money for info leading to Davis’s whereabouts soared to $27,500 — $12,500 of which was donated the by Crime Stoppers of Houston and a private donor. The remaining $15,000 was pledged by the Houston police and includes donations from Maleah’s family and others.
Because the agency’s policy prohibits cash rewards from being given to certain groups, including local activists, the money will likely go back to Crime Stoppers and the other people/organizations who donated to the reward fund.
What was the motive behind Maleah Davis’ presumed killing?
Vence, the ex-fiance’ of Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, is the sole suspect in the case and remains jailed in connection to the young girl’s disappearance. According to Quanell, a former spokesman for Bowens, the couple had a huge fight sparked by allegations of infidelity shortly before Maleah went missing.
Police have not confirmed this as a possible motive, nor has Vence been charged in Maleah’s death.
After being removed by Child Protective Services, why were Maleah and her siblings returned to the home?
Court documents show CPS removed Maleah and her younger siblings from the family’s Houston-area home last August after the 4-year-old suffered a head injury officials said was the result of possible physical abuse. Records show the children were returned to the home in February after doctors “could not confirm whether or not the injuries were caused by abuse.”
“The primary goal is family reunification,” court documents state, noting that Bowens had completed court-ordered parenting classes. “The agency believes this is in the best interest of Maleah.”
Who drove suspect to the hospital?
Vence told police that he, his 1-year-old son and Maleah were headed to the airport to retrieve Bowens, who was out of town for a funeral, when they were ambushed by three Latino men. The Texas man claimed he was knocked unconscious during the assault, and awoke to find his car and the little girl gone.
He claimed he walked himself and his son to a hospital in Sugar Land in the late hours of May 4, however, police said there’s surveillance video of Vence being dropped off in the very car he said had been stolen. The vehicle, a silver Nissan Altima, was found abandoned in Missouri City, Texas, a few days later.
Why would Brittany Bowens leave her daughter in Vence’s care given her stated suspicions of abuse?
Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, has faced intense scrutiny over the disappearance of her daughter. Speaking on her behalf, Quanell X told reporters at a press conference last month that Bowens had suspicions that Vence was abusing Maleah. The bombshell allegations sparked outrage among critics who accused the mother of failing to protect her daughter.
On Tuesday, Quanell said he believes charges will come against Bowens for her “complicit, negligent role she played” in the demise of Maleah.