UPDATED 7:36 AM PT — Monday, May 13, 2019
More disturbing evidence has surfaced in four-year-old Maleah Davis’ disappearance and all signs are pointing to her stepfather, who is now in police custody.
On Sunday, investigators revealed trained dogs detected the scent of human decomposition in the car of Maleah’s stepfather — Derion Vence.
New surveillance footage also shows Maleah walking with Vence into an apartment, but she was never seen coming out after that. A day later Vence was seen walking out with a laundry basket that held a large black trash bag. Moments later, he was seen leaving the complex with only his one-year-old son. Vence was carrying a large bottle of bleach. Police say this was the last footage of the suspect before he told police that he was attacked and Maleah was abducted.
Investigators also found blood at the apartment, both in the hallway leading to the bathroom and on surfaces inside the bathroom.
“There was blood splattered evidence, there was chemical spray that was all over the apartment after homicide investigators left,” explained local community activist Quanell X.
This all comes just one day after authorities arrested Vence for tampering with evidence. In his initial report, he claimed his car was stolen during the alleged abduction, which he said forced him to walk to the hospital. However, surveillance footage shows someone dropping him and his one-year-old off at the hospital in the same car. This has led some to believe someone else was involved.
“All of that is being uncovered right now,” said Quanell X. “We believe that we are close to identifying the person that took him, but we also believe it is a family member that dropped him of.”
Maleah’s body has yet to be found. Police have declined to say whether they believe Vence killed Maleah. In the meantime, prosecutors have said he could face additional charges, including murder.