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CrimeHouston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis

13:00  04 june  2019
13:00  04 june  2019 Source:   houstonchronicle.com

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The search for Maleah ended Friday after community activist Quanell X said he had obtained a 12of14The remains of 4-year-old Maleah Davis were found off Interstate 30 East in Fulton Miller is unsure that a cause and manner of death can ever be identified because of the condition of “She belonged to our community, and we share a collective grief .” Staff writers Nicole Hensley and Julian

HOUSTON (AP) — The remains of a child found in Arkansas last week are those of a missing 4-year-old Texas girl, Maleah Davis , a medical examiner The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said it had positively identified the remains found in a garbage bag near a freeway outside the town

Video by NBC News

On the flight back to Houston, the police investigators sat in silence beside an ice cooler from a nearby Walmart in Arkansas. Once empty, it now carried the remains of a little girl whom they believed to be Maleah Davis.

The travelers wouldn’t officially know it was the missing 4-year-old until they received results from an autopsy, but they were almost certain. While gathering human remains scattered along Interstate 30 earlier Friday night, authorities had picked up a small, pink hair barrette. They also found remnants of colorful pajamas, shredded by a lawn mower that ran over the small body tucked inside a garbage bag discarded on the side of the road.

Mom of Maleah Davis 'Knows What Happened' to Missing Daughter, Former Spokesperson Says

Mom of Maleah Davis 'Knows What Happened' to Missing Daughter, Former Spokesperson Says Community activist Quanell X claimed Brittany Bowens’ behavior almost immediately raised red flags. A spokesperson for the mother of Maleah Davis has said he is no longer representing her because he believes “she knows what happened” to her missing daughter, according to a report. Community activist Quanell X claimed Brittany Bowens’ behavior almost immediately raised red flags, but said he remained by her side for as long as he did to get information he feared police searching for the 4-year-old Texas girl could not, he said to KHOU-TV.

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Monday that City Hall will turn its lights pink on June 9 to honor the life of He said his heart, like many others, is heavy after it was announced on Monday that the human remains that were found in Arkansas last week were positively identified as

Maleah Davis ' mom shares eerie video of Derion and Maleah on her 4th birthday - Продолжительность: 1:31 ABC13 Houston 129 648 просмотров. Remains identified as Maleah Davis - Продолжительность: 1:49 KPRC 2 Click2 Houston 2 604 просмотра.

Police didn’t want Maleah to return to Texas in a black bag, just as she’d left the state, said Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller, who was on the flight with detectives. After placing the body in one bag and reinforcing it with a second one, they covered the corpse with a unicorn blanket before closing the cooler’s lid.

Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
Houston area shares ‘a collective grief’ after remains identified as those of Maleah Davis
The gut feeling that the remains were of Maleah — the smiling sweetheart whose disappearance and suspected death elicited the sorrow of an entire city — was confirmed Monday by the medical examiner.

“We are all saddened by the confirmation of the identification of the remains brought home to Houston by members of the Houston Police Department as Maleah Davis,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a written statement. “However, we are heartened by the fact this sweet child can now receive the proper burial she deserved and that those who knew and loved her most desired.”

The Latest: Sheriff: Child's remains found in Arkansas

The Latest: Sheriff: Child's remains found in Arkansas Houston police say the remains of a child have been found in Arkansas in the vicinity of where a man says he dumped the body of a missing 4-year-old Texas girl. Houston Police Commander Michael Skillern gave an update on the search for Maleah Davis, who disappeared in Houston. The search for Maleah shifted to Arkansas after a community activist said the man arrested in connection with her disappearance confessed he disposed of her body there. Quanell X, a local civil rights activist, says he spoke on Friday in jail with Derion Vence, the ex-fiance of Maleah's mother, who had claimed Maleah was abducted May 4.

Maleah Davis ' mom shares eerie video of Derion and Maleah on her 4th birthday - Продолжительность: 1:31 ABC13 Houston 127 843 Suspect in Maleah Davis ' disappearance first court appearance [FULL VIDEO] - Продолжительность: 9:22 ABC13 Houston 53 650 просмотров.

Remains identified as Maleah Davis - Продолжительность: 1:49 KPRC 2 Click2 Houston 2 604 просмотра. Human remains found during search for Maleah Davis - Продолжительность: 6:14 CNN 265 406 просмотров. Hearing from those who knew Maleah Davis - Продолжительность: 1

The search for Maleah ended Friday after community activist Quanell X said he had obtained a jailhouse confession from the ex-fiance of the girl’s mother, Derion Vence, already charged with tampering with evidence in connection with Maleah’s disappearance. The activist said Vence told him he’d accidentally killed the child and dumped her body in southwest Arkansas.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is looking to file additional charges in the case, spokesman Dane Schiller said Monday.

“Prosecutors continue their review and are working with Houston Police,” Schiller said in a text message. “Additional charges would be filed as the evidence supports doing so. We remain focused on finding the truth and delivering justice for Maleah.”

After Vence reportedly confessed, Houston police investigators and Texas EquuSearch team members boarded a private plane to Hempstead County, about 330 miles northeast of Houston.

'Maleah Davis didn't have to die': For activist Quanell X, this case is personal

'Maleah Davis didn't have to die': For activist Quanell X, this case is personal The Maleah Davis case has clearly tugged at the heart of Houston community activist Quanell X. During a news conference Friday, Quanell wiped away tears after telling reporters that Derion Vence admitted Maleah is dead and that he dumped her body in Arkansas. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "Maleah didn’t have to die. That little girl did not have to die,” Quanell later told KHOU 11.

HOUSTON – Remains of a child found just outside of Hope, Arkansas arrived in Houston Friday evening. The Harris County Medical Examiner's office is now tasked with Though police said they are waiting for official confirmation, they said they believe the remains could be those of Maleah Davis .

Maleah Davis ' remains have been identified , authorities said Monday. By Chuck Johnston, CNN. Located in Arkansas on Friday during a search, the remains now have been positively identified as those of the missing Houston girl, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Texas said.

A work crew mowing I-30 near Fulton, Arkansas discovered a bloodied black garbage bag last week but left it alone, assuming that its foul odor was from a discarded animal. They realized otherwise when the mower ran over that same bag on Friday.

“It was a terrible scene, of course,” Miller said, adding, “I think there was a huge surge of relief.”

The cause and manner of death are still pending, and there is no timetable for when that information will be released, said Michele Arnold, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Miller is unsure that a cause and manner of death can ever be identified because of the condition of Maleah’s body, he said.

On Friday night, her remains were brought back to Houston with HPD investigators and EquuSearch officials standing vigil on the plane.

‘A collective grief’

Maleah’s disappearance was marked with the tumult of a constantly changing story and outrage from a community invested in the tragedy.

Vence reported Maleah missing on May 4, a day after he failed to pick up the girl’s mother, Brittany Bowens, from the airport she had attended a family member’s funeral.

Prime suspect in death of 4-year-old Maleah Davis: 'Nothing bad happened'

Prime suspect in death of 4-year-old Maleah Davis: 'Nothing bad happened' Derion Vence, the primary suspect in the death of 4-year-old Maleah Davis, doubled down on his denial in an tearful jailhouse interview.

Bowens left Maleah and her two other children in Vence’s care — a decision that was later criticized after Quanell told reporters she saw signs Vence may have been physically abusing Maleah. She later denied those statements after severing ties with Quanell, who briefly represented her.

Texas Child Protective Services has been criticized for allowing Bowens’ children back in her care, after they were removed last August when Maleah sustained a head injury.

After failing to pick up Bowens, Vence arrived at a local hospital the next day with a knot on his head, brandishing a story about being abducted on the way to Bush Intercontinental Aiport with Maleah and his then-1-year-old son after stopping to check his tires. When he woke up, he claimed, his son was with him, but Maleah was gone.

Vence told police he couldn’t remember what happened over the previous 24 hours, and his story eventually became riddled with inconsistencies.

On May 3, the day Bowens was expected to return home and that Maleah was believed to have gone missing, a neighbor’s security camera captured Vence leaving his apartment building about 1:40 p.m. carrying a laundry basket stuffed with a bulging black trash bag. He also held cleaning supplies, including bleach.

Vence left home with just his son around 6:40 p.m. that day, according to surveillance video. He and the boy were dropped at the hospital in the same vehicle, the family’s Nissan Altima, the next day.

Investigators seize Derion Vence's cellphone records

Investigators seize Derion Vence's cellphone records Investigators on the Maleah Davis case have seized Derion Vence’s cellphone records. 

The car was found in a parking lot with the laundry basket still inside. It carried the smell of a decomposing body, police said. They discovered blood in Vence’s apartment, which appeared to be cleaned up but matched the DNA on Maleah’s toothbrush.

Vence was arrested on the charge of tampering with a corpse, a second-degree felony that carries up to 20 years in prison, if convicted. His bail was set at $1 million.

Quanell is no longer involved in the case, but said he hopes that Vence’s charges will be upgraded to murder.

“My main thing now is, I’m hoping and praying we can all have a beautiful funeral,” he said.

Vence’s lawyer, Dorian Cotlar, said Monday that he considers Quanell a witness in the case for his role in obtaining the alleged confession. Cotlar said a subpoena had been issued for the activist’s phone records.

“It doesn’t take a legal scholar to figure out that we would try to get any kind of statements my client made suppressed,” Cotlar said. “Quanell is a witness in that.”

Cotlar filed a motion on Friday to prohibit Quanell from visiting Vence at the Harris County Jail but a judge denied the request.

“My client is certainly not going to talk to him anymore,” Cotlar said.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said City Hall will be lit up in pink on Sunday to honor Maleah. In the meantime, the mayor said he hopes people focus on creating “lasting changes” to protect children.

“Maleah was a sweet, beautiful, and innocent little girl who deserved a chance to enjoy life just like any other child,” Turner said. “She belonged to our community, and we share a collective grief.”

Staff writers Nicole Hensley and Julian Gill contributed to this report.

samantha.ketterer@chron.com

Twitter.com/sam_kett

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