Volunteers from EquuSearch are searching along the rural route where suspect Derion Vence once worked for the U.S. Postal Service.
Vence is the main suspect in the disappearance of 4-year-old Maleah Davis. Vence reportedly said his mail route would be a good place to hide a dead body.
Tim Miller of EquuSearch says his group is focusing on the route in the rural area of Rosharon.
Vence told police he was ambushed and carjacked by three Hispanic males while on his way to the airport to pick up Maleah's mother, Brittany Bowens, on May 3. He said he was knocked unconscious for nearly 24 hours. He woke up the next day and his 2-year-old son was with him, but not Maleah. He said he walked to a nearby hospital where he reported Maleah missing, along with Bowens' silver Nissan Altima, which he claimed was stolen by the carjackers.
But surveillance video from the hospital shows he was dropped off at the hospital by someone driving the same Nissan Altima.
Blood was found on various surfaces inside the apartment Vence shared with Bowens. Blood and human tissue were found in drain traps in the kitchen and bathroom and a garbage disposal in the kitchen. The blood was linked to a sample of Maleah's DNA taken from her toothbrush.
Law enforcement officials have not yet confirmed whether Maleah is dead.
Vence was arrested on Saturday at his younger brother Joe Vence's home in Sugar Land, Texas, about 22 miles southwest of Houston. His bond was set at $1 million, but a judge lowered the bond to $45,000 on Monday.
Joe Vence defended his brother, saying he didn't want to comment about the details of the case.
"Once God is with you, the whole world, the whole city, everybody can be against you,” Joe Vence told KPRC 2. "We're a strong, praying family. God is on our side. God is with my brother."
"Maleah, I love her and hopefully they get all this stuff straightened out," Joe Vence said.
In documents obtained by KPRC 2 News, Child Protective Services investigated Bowens and Maleah's biological father, Craig Davis Jr., for abusing the girl and her 7-year-old brother.
The children were removed from Bowens' home in August, but a judge returned the children to their mother in February.
Judge Gloria Lopez had been sworn in just one month earlier when she returned the children to Bowens.
— TianaSoleil? (@tiana_soleil) May 15, 2019