HOUSTON, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – A Texas grand jury has indicted Derion Vence in the death of Maleah Davis, the four-year-old girl who went missing back in April and whose remains were later found in Southwest Arkansas.
Vence, 29, has been charged with tampering with evidence.
The child’s remains were found in a garbage bag on the side of Interstate 30 in Hempstead County, Arkansas on May 31, nearly a month after Vence claimed that he, Maleah and his 2-year-old son were abducted by a group of men in a truck. He said he and his son were freed the next day but the kidnappers kept Maleah and his silver Nissan Altima.
Police said Vence’s story kept changing and didn’t add up, and investigators found blood in his home and signs of decay in his car, which was found a week later in the Houston suburb of Missouri City.
The search for Maleah’s remains moved to southwest Arkansas after investigators received information that Vence had claimed that the child’s death was an accident and that he had confessed to dumping her body at the first Hope exit coming from Texarkana.
Medical examiners ruled in June that Maleah’s death was the result of “homicidal violence,” although the exact manner was not disclosed.
On Thursday, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said it’s still waiting for the child’s final autopsy report to decide if Vence will face additional charges.
Vence has remained in the Harris County Jail since his arrest May 11 on a felony charge of tampering with a corpse in connection with the girl’s disappearance.
He is due back in court in September.