US

Search Suspended for Missing 4-Year-Old Maleah Davis Due to Weather

By Zachary Stieber

The search for a missing 4-year-old in Texas has been suspended on May 8 due to heavy flooding.

Texas EquuSearch, which has crews helping to look for Maleah Davis, announced the suspension early Wednesday, saying the areas where the search was planned “have been flooded with the recent heavy rains.”

“This could restrict us from being effective in finding Maleah. Some of the areas are now filled with deep rain water, and this would greatly limit our searchers and accessibility. We will issue a call-out once we plan to resume the search for Maleah. Maleah is an innocent victim, and there is no excuse for anyone causing her disappearance. The rain may slow us, but it won’t stop, or discourage us from finding little Maleah,” the group added.

Maleah’s stepfather Darion Vence told police officers that he was with her and his 1-year-old son in Houston on May 4 when they were accosted by three men he described as Hispanic.

Vence said he was driving to pick up Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, when he was forced to pull over when he heard a noise that sounded like a flat tire.

When he got out of his car, he said he was approached by the trio, who he said were in a blue Chevy truck. After hearing the men say that Maleah looked “very nice” and “very sweet,” Vence claimed he was knocked on the head and when he came to he was in Sugar Land. His son was with him but Maleah was gone.

Maleah was described as an African-American female with black hair and brown eyes, standing approximately 3 feet tall and weighing between 30 and 40 pounds.

Police later said that Vence changed his story and is a person of interest in the case.

The Sugar Land Police Department is assisting the Houston Police Department in the investigation. Sugar Land officers told Fox 26 that Vence’s story has been inconsistent.

“Police say he first told detectives he walked to the hospital, then he said he was dropped off. Police are looking at surveillance cameras in that area,” the broadcaster reported. Houston Police Department officers told the broadcaster that Vence is now a person of interest.

Houston Police Department Sgt. Mark Holbrook previously noted that Vence’s story contained “a lot of blanks.”

Issuing a call for help from members of the public, he added in a press conference: “We’re hoping the public can fill in the blanks.”