A Texas grand jury has indicted Derion Vence, the man facing charges in connection to the disappearance and death of Houston girl Maleah Davis, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Vence, the ex-fiancé of Davis’ mother, has been jailed since early May after he was arrested on charges of tampering with evidence, namely a corpse, and the grand jury has now indicted him on that charge.
“Our work continues to seek justice for Maleah,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.
The DA’s office said Davis’ final autopsy report will determine if additional charges will be brought against Vence, who claims the little girl’s death was an “accident.” The Houston man initially told police that he, Maleah and his 1-year-old son with Davis’ mother were kidnapped in an alleged carjacking by three Latino men.
Vence reported the 4-year-old missing May 4, telling police he was knocked unconscious during the assault and awoke to find his car and Davis gone.
Vence’s tall tale soon unraveled, however, after police said he changed his story multiple times, and after investigators said a search of the family’s apartment turned up traces of the child’s blood.
Davis’ remains were discovered in a trash bag along a busy highway in Arkansas a month later, after Vence confessed to Houston activist Quanell X. According to Quanell, Vence insisted Maleah’s death was an accident, and revealed that “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.”
Earlier this month, a medical examiner determined Davis’ death was the result of homicidal violence. The manner of her death remains unknown.
The young girl was laid to rest during a private funeral on June 22.