A 5-Year-Old Girl Is Missing in Houston—Her Stepfather Says She Was Abducted

Wire Service
By Wire Service
May 5, 2019USshare
A 5-Year-Old Girl Is Missing in Houston—Her Stepfather Says She Was Abducted
Maleah Davis. (Houston Police)

Houston police have issued an Amber Alert and are asking for the public’s help finding a 5-year-old girl.

The Houston Police Department initially said Maleah Davis was last seen around 9 p.m. Saturday night, and was thought to be with three unknown males in a blue Chevrolet pickup truck.

According to police, Maleah’s stepfather told authorities that he, Maleah and Maleah’s 2-year-old brother were “abducted by 3 males sometime Friday night” in North Houston.

The stepfather, Darion Vence, said he and the boy were then dropped off Saturday night in the Sugar Land area, just southwest of downtown.

Maleah was last seen wearing a light blue zip jacket, blue jeans, sneakers, and had a pink bow in her hair, police said.

Sgt. Mark Holbrook of the Houston Police Department’s Homicide Division told reporters Sunday that “I realize there’s a lot of blanks in the story.”

He said police hoped the public could help them “fill in the blanks” in the narrative provided to them by Vence.

According to Holbrook, Vence told detectives that he, Maleah and the 2-year-old were on their way to George Bush Intercontinental Airport Friday night to pick up Maleah’s mother, who was flying in from Massachusetts.

Vence heard a “popping noise,” like a popped tire, Holbrook said, and pulled over to check on it.

A blue pickup truck then pulled up behind the vehicle. Two Hispanic males got out and one makes a comment that “Maleah looks very nice, looks very sweet,” Holbrook said. The other man hit Vence in the head and he lost consciousness.

Vence later woke up in the back of the truck with Maleah and the 2-year-old, he told police. There were now three Hispanic males in the truck.

He said he was in and out of consciousness until about 6 p.m. Saturday, when he woke up on Highway 6 with the 2-year-old boy. Maleah was missing, Vence said.

He then walked to a nearby hospital, where he received medical treatment and reported Maleah missing.

The vehicle that Vence was driving on the way to the airport—a silver Nissan Altima that belongs to Maleah’s mother—is also missing, Holbrook said.

A traffic camera captured an image of the car driving through an intersection in Sugar Land just before 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

Holbrook asked that anyone who might have seen Vence, the Nissan Altima or the three men in the pickup truck contact authorities.

The reported Chevrolet’s license plate number is unknown, police said on Twitter, as is the motive in Maleah’s disappearance.

Missing Children

There were 464,324 missing children reported in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center in 2017, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Under federal law, when a child is reported missing to law enforcement they must be entered into the database. In 2016, there were 465,676 entries.

Reve Walsh and John Walsh speak during The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, the Fraternal Order of the Police and the Justice Department’s 16th Annual Congressional Breakfast at The Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington on May 18, 2011. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

“This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center noted.

In 2017, the center said it assisted officers and families with the cases of more than 27,000 missing children. In those cases, 91 percent were endangered runaways, and 5 percent were family abductions.

About one in seven children reported missing to the center in 2017 were likely victims of child sex trafficking.

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