There has been a dramatic development in the case of a missing child allegedly abducted this week in Houston. The nation has been on edge since Maleah Davis, 5, was reported kidnapped by her stepfather Darion Vence. Vence claimed that not only was Maleah abducted by three Hispanic men but also that he was assaulted and his car was stolen. The police are now reporting that the car has been located, Vence’s whereabouts are unknown and a judge has issued orders against both Vence and Maleah’s mother.
Houston police Detective Kenneth Fregia announced on Thursday that the missing Nissan Altima reported stolen was found in a shopping mall parking lot in Missouri City, Texas. According to police, the car was unlocked and seemed to be undamaged. As news of the discovery of the car spread, Brittany Bowens, Maleah’s mother, came to the scene and local news reported she was crying and striking her hands on the pavement. Police also stated that they would like to talk to Vence but he could not readily be found. Fregia said the HPD is not worried about locating the stepfather and despite media reports, are not yet calling him a suspect in his stepdaughter’s disappearance.
In another startling development, a judge issued an order on Thursday barring Vence and Bowens from contact with their children. The court order was issued against the couple shortly after police found the missing Altima. Child Protective services confirmed earlier this week that Maleah and her siblings were removed from the home in 2018 after allegations of physical abuse. The children were returned in February 2019 and until Maleah’s recent alleged abduction, CPS reported no issues in its monthly visits to the home.
According to KHOU, the court order removing all the children from Vence and Bowen’s custody was the result of an emergency court hearing after motions were filed separately by Maleah’s grandmother and CPS on Wednesday of this week.