Maleah Davis case: Authorities search area suspect allegedly called a good place to 'dump a body'
Texas officials have shifted the search for missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis to an area the suspect in her disappearance once allegedly said was a good place to "dump a body."
The Houston Police Department is working with members of the Texas EquuSearch search and rescue organization to comb through a rural area of Rosharon, an unincorporated community in Brazoria County, where suspect Derion Vence once worked a mail delivery route.
According to EquuSearch Founder and Director Tim Miller, 26-year-old Vence, who was engaged to the missing girl's mother before she recently broke it off, had once made a questionable comment about the region.
"He actually told his mother-in-law a year ago, 'If I ever murder someone I can dump a body in Rosharon, that will never be found,'" Miller told CNN.
The missing girl's mother, Brittany Bowens, confirmed the statement to the company, Miller claimed.
Vence, who is frequently referred to as Maleah's stepfather in reports, was arrested Saturday after blood in his apartment matched DNA taken from the 4-year-old's toothbrush.
Traces of human decomposition were also detected in the trunk of his car by canine police units specially trained to pick up the scent of cadavers.
He was booked into the Harris County jail on suspicion of "tampering with evidence, namely a corpse" and is currently being held on a $45,000 bond, which was reduced from $1 million on Monday. Investigators believe more charges may be forthcoming, "including but not limited to the first-degree felony offense of murder."
Vence originally claimed the little girl was abducted by three Hispanic males who knocked him unconscious while he was on the way to pick up Bowens at Bush Intercontinental Airport around 9 p.m. on May 4, but his story rapidly began to unravel.
Vence said he drifted in and out of consciousness for a day before waking up without the girl or his vehicle and walking to a nearby hospital to report her missing on May 5. (Note: An initial police report stated Vence claimed he drove to the airport on May 3 and reported Maleah missing on May 4. That report and those dates have since been updated.)
However, police later uncovered multiple discrepancies in Vence's story, including security footage from both his apartment complex and the hospital he supposedly walked to after the "kidnapping" took place. Both tapes dispute his version of the events leading up to and after Maleah's disappearance.
Maleah has black hair and brown eyes, stands at about 3 feet tall and weighs approximately 30 to 40 pounds. Anyone with information on the case is urged to call 713-308-3600.