Crime: Maleah Davis case: Once again, police suspect a caretaker disguised a crime by claiming a child went missing - PressFrom - US
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CrimeMaleah Davis case: Once again, police suspect a caretaker disguised a crime by claiming a child went missing

14:00  14 may  2019
14:00  14 may  2019 Source:   cnn.com

Maleah Davis update: Search continues in Rosharon for missing girl

Maleah Davis update: Search continues in Rosharon for missing girl The search continued in Rosharon Wednesday for missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis. Crews were searching near Skydive Spaceland Houston, which is in the 16100 block of FM 521 Road. 

Mom of missing Maleah Davis claims the four-year-old's stepfather is an 'abusive molester' and says he Jussie Smollett lied to the police before by claiming he was his little brother Jake when he was pulled When news of the attack emerged, they issued a statement calling for an end to hate crimes .

KPRC/ Police Source. Maleah Davis case : Surveillance photo shows last time she was seen. Vence reported the 4-year-old missing Saturday, May 4, after he claimed he, his son and Maleah were kidnapped by three men in a blue Once again , police suspect caretaker in case of missing child .

Maleah Davis case: Once again, police suspect a caretaker disguised a crime by claiming a child went missing© Crystal Lake/Houston/Asheville Police Departments Caretakers for Maleah Davis, Shaylie Madden and AJ Freund all told stories that contradicted the evidence, authorities said.

A caretaker reports a child missing and gives a detailed account of what happened. But as the story unravels, the caretaker becomes the suspect.

That's what happened when the father of 5-year-old AJ Freund said the boy vanished -- then later confessed he had actually stashed AJ's lifeless body in the basement.

That's what happened when the mother of 7-week-old Shaylie Madden claimed she and her infant were both abducted -- a story authorities now call a hoax.

Search for missing 4-year-old girl moves to 'haunted house'

Search for missing 4-year-old girl moves to 'haunted house' Searchers for a missing 4-year-old Houston girl have taken their search to the area around a Halloween "haunted house" attraction. Texas EquuSearch says its volunteers are searching an area near the Creepy Hollow Haunted House on Texas Route 288 near Rosharon, about 25 miles south of Houston. 

KPRC/ Police Source. Maleah Davis case : Surveillance photo shows last time she was seen. HOUSTON - From the moment she disappeared, the case of 4-year-old Maleah Davis has grabbed the nation’s attention. Here’s a timeline of how the case has unfolded and what investigators have said

KPRC/ Police Source. Maleah Davis case : Surveillance photo shows last time she was seen. MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - Former Catholic priest Manuel La Rosa-Lopez was arraigned in Montgomery County Court Monday and pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault of a child .

And that's what's happening now in the case of 4-year-old Maleah Davis, who was reported missing May 4 and still hasn't been found.

Her mother's ex-fiance was taking care of Maleah and said he and the girl were kidnapped by a trio of mysterious men near Houston.

But police are finding more holes in Derion Vence's story -- as well as blood in his home and signs of decomposition in his car.

A life marred by a brain injury and alleged abuse

Maleah Davis case: Once again, police suspect a caretaker disguised a crime by claiming a child went missing© Provided by Cable News Network, Inc. Maleah Davis was hospitalized multiple times and was once removed from her home.

In just her first four years, Maleah had already endured multiple brain surgeries and had been removed by child protective services.

The surgeries were needed to treat an injury -- the cause of which remains uncertain.

Mom Holds Out Hope Maleah Davis Will Be Found Alive as Search Nears 3 Weeks

Mom Holds Out Hope Maleah Davis Will Be Found Alive as Search Nears 3 Weeks Surveillance footage pictured Maleah, 4, entering her Houston apartment with her mother Brittany Bowens’s ex-fiance, Derion Vence, on April 30. It was the last time the little girl was seen alive, authorities said. The mother of Maleah Davis is holding out hope her daughter will be found unharmed, though it's been nearly three weeks since the little girl was pictured with the man authorities suspect is responsible for her disappearance. “As a mother, I want to hope that she is [still alive],” Brittany Bowens told KTRK-TV.

A man police described as the stepfather of Maleah Davis , a missing 4-year-old Texas girl, will appear in Investigators are once again scouring areas of Houston for Maleah Monday. Vence reported Maleah missing more than a week ago. The 26-year-old was arrested on Saturday after investigators

Timothy Wiltsey, who went missing from South Amboy, New Jersey, whose mother told the police He claimed he saw another individual hit Davis in the head with a rock and helped him move her Jimmy Ryce, a child who was abducted on 11 September 1995, and was raped and killed by Juan

Her mother, Brittany Bowens, said she took Maleah to West Houston Medical Center last July because she was lethargic, but nurses didn't examine her head.

Weeks later, on July 28, Maleah fell while she was sitting at the table eating by herself, Bowens said.

The girl suffered a deep gash on her head, and once again her mother rushed her to the hospital. Doctors discharged Maleah without performing a CT scan, Bowens said.

Five days later, Maleah suffered a seizure, Bowens said. Maleah was then taken to a children's hospital.

"They did a CT scan, and that's when they told me there was bleeding on the left-hand side of her brain," she told CNN. "At that point, it was a life or death situation."

A few days after doctors operated on Maleah, child protective services arrived at her home.

"They didn't find anything because we're not those kinds of people," Bowens said.

But that same month, child welfare workers placed Maleah and her two brothers with relatives after allegations of abuse. A judge later allowed the siblings to return home in February.

Mother of missing Texas girl heckled after canceled hearing

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Maleah Davis ’ Stepfather Tampered with Evidence, Police Say. According to police , Vence claimed last weekend that he was driving his toddler son and Davis to an airport where they were going to Vence claimed that he faded in and out of consciousness while being driven around by three suspects .

Maleah Davis case : Surveillance photo shows last time she was seen. Maleah was reported missing Saturday night by her stepfather, 26-year-old Derion Vence, who is facing charges connected to her disappearance. Once again , police suspect caretaker in case of missing child .

Three months later, Maleah vanished and is still nowhere to be found.

From caretaker to alleged victim to suspect

Derion Vence, the ex-fiance of Maleah's mother, was taking care of Maleah on May 3. What happened after that depends on who you believe.

Vence, 26, initially told police he was driving with Maleah to pick up her mother from the airport when he heard what sounded like his tire popping.

When he stopped to investigate, a blue pickup truck pulled up and two Hispanic males got out, Vence said.

He said one of the men commented, "Maleah looks very nice, looks very sweet." The other man hit Vence in the head, and he lost consciousness, Vence said.

Over the next 24 hours, Vence said, he drifted in and out of consciousness in the back of the kidnappers' pickup truck. He said at one point he noticed a third abductor in the truck.

When he woke up the evening of May 4, Vence said, he was abandoned on Highway 6 -- but Maleah was not there. He said he walked to a hospital for help.

Houston police say they've uncovered a litany of evidence contradicting Vence's story.

Surveillance footage at Vence's apartment complex showed him leaving the afternoon of May 3 carrying something heavy in a large black trash bag, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police arrest stepfather of 4-year-old girl he claims was kidnapped

Police arrest stepfather of 4-year-old girl he claims was kidnapped Derion Vence was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence on Saturday one week after he told police that his stepdaughter was kidnapped.

Prosecutors Say Maleah Davis Defendant Might Face More Charges, Including Murder. Police claimed they found blood in the hallway and bathroom of the residence, according to court documents reported by News West 9. This matched DNA found on Davis ’ toothbrush, investigators said.

Cullen Davis case : Mansion murders crime scene photos. The August 1976 shootings inside a Fort With Cullen Davis now behind bars, police start to dig deeper into the case . Priscilla Davis : It's very painful to lose a child and of course the traumatic way it happened has affected me and always will.

Vence later comes back to the apartment and leaves "with cleaning supplies including bleach," the affidavit states.

Meleah has not been seen since.

Police also found blood in the hallway and bathroom of Vence's apartment. DNA from the blood matches DNA from Maleah's toothbrush.

And surveillance footage at the hospital that Vence said he walked to showed he was actually dropped off in a silver Nissan Altima. It was the same car Vence was driving to the airport -- and that Vence said he hadn't seen since the night before.

When canine officers sniffed the car for evidence, they responded to "the scent of decomposition in the vehicle," the affidavit states.

Vence was arrested Saturday on suspicion of tampering with evidence -- a human corpse, police said.

Tampering with a human corpse is a second-degree felony in Texas. If convicted, Vence faces between two to 20 years in prison.

But authorities have not said whether Maleah is dead or alive, or where she might be.

CNN reached out to Vence several times last week but did not hear back. It' not clear if he has an attorney, as his scheduled court appearance Monday was postponed.

A boy's father reported him missing, then showed police his grave

The disappearance of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund last month prompted a widespread search across northern Illinois.

Why man arrested in case of missing girl allegedly "snapped"

Why man arrested in case of missing girl allegedly Derion Vence is accused of tampering with human remains even though Maleah Davis' body has not been found

Police have described Vence as Maleah ’s stepfather, but Maleah ’s mother Brittany Bowens said through a spokesman that Vence is her former fiance. Quanell X, a local civil rights activist who spoke to reporters on Bowens’ behalf on Friday, also said that Vence had abused Maleah .

“I saw police trucks go up and down the hill to up there, where the bodies are found,” said one man in the neighborhood near the site who declined to give his name out of Such student demonstrations are part of a well-known militancy that goes back decades and has provoked violence in the past.

But he wasn't really missing. His father later confessed that he hid the boy's body in a basement and then buried AJ in an empty lot.

It was a stark contrast to the father's original story. Andrew Freund Sr. called 911 the morning of April 18, saying he couldn't find his son.

In reality, police said AJ likely died three days earlier after being punished for soiling his clothes.

Authorities also found a video on the cell phone of the boy's mother, JoAnn Cunningham, showing AJ badly beaten, according to now-sealed court documents obtained by the Northwest Herald.

"AJ is seen to (be) naked except for some small bandages around both wrists and circling his hips," one document states. "AJ is seen to be holding an ice pack to his face and when he removes it he is seen to have deep red bruising around his eyes."

The video marked a turning point in the investigation. When police showed it to Freund on April 24, he told them his wife caused AJ's injuries and described what he said happened the night AJ died.

"He believed AJ died on Monday morning after spending a prolonged time in a cold shower," the documents state. "Drew explained he wanted Joann to stop with the hard physical beatings and do some less violent form of punishment. Drew said cold showers was decided (as the alternative)."

After the confession, Freund took police to a shallow grave in Woodstock, where they found AJ's body covered with straw. An autopsy revealed he died of blunt-force injuries.

Both parents have been charged with murder.

Investigators say a mom threw her infant down a ravine

North Carolina police scrambled to find Krista Madden and her 7-week-old daughter last Thursday after someone called 911 and said the two may have been kidnapped.

Car reported stolen in Maleah Davis case has been found, search for child continues

Car reported stolen in Maleah Davis case has been found, search for child continues Missouri City police confirm to KHOU 11 News the car reportedly stolen during the kidnapping of 4-year-old Maleah Davis has been located.

Maleah Davis (left) and Derion Vence (right) are seen walking to the family's southwest Houston apartment just before 8 According to a police source, the photo shows Maleah and her stepfather, Derion Vence, walking into the Once again , police suspect caretaker in case of missing child .

“As the stakes go up, you would think it would be harder to get someone to confess – to a murder rather than a lesser crime – and yet as the stakes go up, the rates go up,” says Kassin, explaining how police will put seasoned interrogators on higher profile crimes , increasing the odds of gaining confessions.

Madden, 35, was later found walking on a country road. She told authorities she managed to escape two captors wearing ski masks, but that the kidnappers still had her infant daughter, Shaylie.

While Henderson County sheriff's deputies searched for Shaylie, someone called 911 to report the baby was found at the bottom of 75-foot ravine, along with a car seat.

Investigators now believe Madden threw the car seat down the ravine, Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin said.

When the car seat hit the ground, Shaylie apparently rolled out. The baby was not seriously injured.

Her mother now faces an attempted murder charge.

"She did provide enough information about her involvement that gave us probable cause," the sheriff said.

A mother waits in agony

While we now know the fates of AJ and Shaylie, Maleah's whereabouts remain a mystery.

Soon after Maleah's disappearance, her mother said it was easier to believe Vence's story that a trio of kidnappers took her child.

"It gives me hope to know that she may be alive if someone else took her," Bowens said.

But as time passed, she started doubting her ex-fiance's story.

"The way he's going about things is suspicious," Bowens said. "I've been out here doing what I need to do as a mother. I've been trying, and he hasn't been by my side not one time."

Now Maleah's mother has no choice but to worry, wonder and wait.

Maleah Davis update: Derion Vence 'could tell us exactly where to find that body,' Houston Police Chief says.
Police Chief Art Acevedo offered a new $5,000 reward for tips in the disappearance of 4-year-old Maleah Davis. His offer is on top of CrimeStoppers’ reward. In an exclusive sit-down interview about the case, Chief Acevedo said all evidence he’s seen points to a grim discovery. “We already know and believe that she is dead and we need to bring her home,” Chief Acevedo said. The chief, who used to lead the Austin Police Department before taking over in Houston, said the Davis case reminds him of a missing 2-year-old named Colton Turner. Acevedo was there when officers found Colton’s body. “I’ll never forget when we uncovered that little boy,” Chief Acevedo said.

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