Family Member Knew Maleah Davis Was Dead and Helped ‘Stepdad,’ Quanell X Says

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
June 4, 2019US News
Family Member Knew Maleah Davis Was Dead and Helped ‘Stepdad,’ Quanell X Says
Maleah Davis. (Houston Police Dept)

A community activist who elicited a confession from the man who cared for Maleah Davis says that a family member knew the girl was dead and assisted the man in dumping the body.

Maleah, 4, went missing in early May from Houston, Texas. Her remains were found on the side of the road in Arkansas just north of the border with Texas in late May and confirmed to be of the missing girl on June 3.

Derion Vence, described by police as Maleah’s stepfather and by her mother, Brittany Bowens, as her ex-fiance, told Quanell X, the community activist, that he had dumped the body but claimed Maleah’s death was accidental.

Quanell X told KTRK that he believes Vence “snapped” under the burden of taking care of Maleah and two other children most of the time.

Derion Vence and Maleah Davis (R)
Derion Vence (L) and Maleah Davis. (Houston Police Department)
Maleah Davis in a file photo. (CNN)

“He was angry with Brittany and he was very agitated with Brittany … saying that she was giving a ring back to him that drove him over the edge,” Quanell X said.

He said that Vence told him he put Maleah’s body in a trash bag—which he was seen carrying in a laundry basket shortly before she was reported missing—and took the bag in his car to Arkansas.

In a new interview, the activist said that he spoke to a family member that knew about what happened.

“I believe that there is one family member of Derion … that he knew where the body was placed, and that he helped hide Derion out from authorities so they couldn’t speak to him. And I believe he knew about the whereabouts of where Maleah was,” Quanell X told Fox 26.

He did not name the family member.

quanell x with bowens
Quanell X walks out of the courtroom with Brittany Bowens, the mother of the missing 4-year-old, Meleah Davis after the court postponed a court appearance for Derion Vence, who is charged with tampering with evidence in the case of Meleah Davis’ disappearance in Houston on May 13, 2019. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Quanell X walks out of the courtroom with Brittany Bowens in Houston
Brittany Bowens cries after being accused of knowing what happened to her daughter, in Houston on May 13, 2019. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The activist stopped representing Bowens just days before Maleah was found, saying her story had inconsistencies. He said that Bowens should also be charged because she allegedly knew that her daughter was dead.

“I believe that Derion has to be charged with murder,” he said. “He has to be charged with taking the life of young Maleah and held absolutely accountable for that. This man had no remorse. None whatsoever when I sat down and talked to him. I believe that Brittany has to be held accountable also. Brittany helped cover up abuse and I think she has to look at the bigger picture. Your child lost her life because as a mother you failed to protect that baby.”

A prosecutor said after Vence was arrested on a charge of tampering with evidence on May 11 that he would likely be charged with murder; that has not happened as of yet.

There has been no indication from police that Bowens will be charged.

Vence originally concocted a story about being with Maleah and his 1-year-old son in Houston on May 4 when they were confronted by three Hispanic men in a blue pickup truck. Vence claimed he was knocked out and when he came to, he and the boy were in Sugar Land and Maleah was gone.

The vehicle Vence said was stolen from him was found on May 9  in a parking lot in suburban Houston. The next day, surveillance pictures showing Vence carrying a black bag in a laundry basket prior to Maleah’s disappearance were released. Vence was soon arrested and charged with tampering with evidence.

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