Maleah Davis might still be alive today if her mother's ex-fiancé hadn't taken his alleged mistress's advice to save her number under another man's name.
Fox 26 News in Houston spoke with Derion's alleged mistress, who said she told him to save her number under a man's name so his ex-fiancee Brittany Bowens wouldn't get suspicious and discover he was cheating on her.
The mistress decided to come forward after police obtained a search warrant for Derion's phone records, including text messages and call history logs.
She said she canceled a meeting with detectives after they threatened to arrest her for outstanding felony warrants in other states.
She says she met Derion over a year ago on the "Tagged" social website, but Maleah's mom Brittany found his profile about a year ago.
"Brittany one time had messaged me on this website and threatened me. She says, 'Well, I can meet you in public and f--k you up real quick.'"
That's when the mistress allegedly asked Derion to change her name in his phone.
"I told Derion, 'You've got my number. Put it under a guy's number so Brittany doesn't know it's me,'" she said. "We send each other pictures, and just crazy pictures."
She said they carried on an affair until she broke up with him in April after he refused to leave Bowens.
"It was always an obstacle in the relationship. He was debating if he was staying or leaving, so I was OK with it. And then as time went by it seemed like he was more OK with being in a relationship, and so I left it alone," says the former mistress.
The woman said they still kept in touch via phone calls and text messages, but they didn’t contact each other around the time Maleah went missing.
Bowens apparently found the nude photos he had sexted his alleged mistress and went ballistic.
Community activist Quanell X said Bowens confronted Derion and accused him of being a homosexual.
"Well I know Derion isn't gay," his mistress told Fox 26. "For a fact he puts females' numbers under guys' numbers so Brittany won't find them."
Bowens ended their engagement the day she traveled out of town to attend her father's funeral, leaving her three children in Derion's care.
Quanell said Derion killed Maleah in a fit of rage after Bowens ended their engagement.
Derion was arrested on May 11 and charged with tampering with a human corpse. Maleah's remains were recovered from a ditch in Arkansas last week.
The woman told Fox 26 she believes Derion is innocent of harming Maleah, and she put the blame for Maleah's death on Bowens.
The mistress says she writes letters to Derion in jail. She says she tells him how he is being portrayed in the news media.
"A friendship's a friendship, and I would hate to see somebody, even if it was my family, I would hate to see somebody in jail without a support system or anybody to actually stick up for what type of person they were when they can't stick up for themselves," she said.
— Ivory Hecker FOX 26 (@IvoryHecker) June 7, 2019
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) June 8, 2019
— Jenna Jordan (@JennaJordanTV) June 8, 2019