Houston community activist Quanell X accused Maleah Davis’s stepfather, Derion Vence, of abusing the 4-year-old who has been missing for a week.
Quanell called a press conference on Friday afternoon, saying he wanted to make an “urgent statement” in Maleah’s disappearance.
Quanell said police removed evidence from an apartment that Vence shared with his fiancee, Brittany Bowens, Maleah and her two brothers. The community activist said evidence recovered from the apartment shows a crime had been committed there.
Quanell, who is representing Bowens, claimed there is surveillance video of Vence carrying a garbage bag and cleaning items including a bottle of bleach from the apartment.
Quanell said Vence abused Maleah inside the apartment he shared with Bowens and her three children. Quanell admitted Bowens did not report the abuse to authorities.
In August, Child Protective Services removed Maleah and her two brothers, ages 5 and 1, from the apartment while they investigated Maleah’s head injury. She later underwent multiple surgeries to decrease intracranial pressure inside her head.
The three children were returned to Bowens in February, after CPS determined Maleah’s head injury occurred during an accidental fall.
Quanell said Vence and Bowens argued before she flew to Massachusetts to attend her father’s funeral on April 30.
Reportedly, the argument was over text messages Bowens found on Vence’s cell phone. The text messages allegedly contained lewd, sexually explicit messages to other men.
“She told him that she was giving back his ring and that she was not going to marry him, and I believe that caused him to snap in anger against young Maleah,” Quanell said.
Vence, 26, told police he was carjacked by three Hispanic males who abducted Maleah last Friday. He said one of the males knocked him unconscious, and Maleah was gone when he woke up nearly 24 hours later.
But police say Vence has changed his story multiple times and he is now considered a “person of interest” in the case.
A silver Nissan Altima that belonged to Vence was located on Thursday in Missouri City in a shopping center parking lot. The car was unlocked and there was no sign of Maleah.
News footage shows Bowens screaming “Where is Maleah? Where is my baby?” as she collapsed on the ground near the vehicle.
Police are reviewing surveillance video footage from businesses in the shopping center where the car was abandoned.
Investigators say they have not spoken to Vence and his whereabouts is unknown.
On Wednesday, a judge reportedly banned Bowens and Vence from contacting Bowens’ two surviving children, ages 5 and 2.
The children are currently in the custody of Bowens’s mother.
WHERE IS MALEAH? Exclusive images obtained by #abc13 show #MaleahDavis’ stepfather leaving his apartment with only his 1 year old son & a trash bag inside a laundry basket, according to a source. This is on the day of the alleged abduction. Details -> https://t.co/J01HcCkRvm. pic.twitter.com/b2ynZze5AI
— Steve Campion (@SteveABC13) May 11, 2019
#MaleahDavis #missing #Maleah https://t.co/fmieePGQ1J
— SweetNLopez????? (@kimksmells) May 10, 2019