NewsNational News


Stepfather of missing Texas girl says he was knocked unconscious. When he woke up, she was gone

Posted at 7:02 AM, May 06, 2019

A day after 5-year-old Maleah Davis was reported missing, her mother and four other women organized a search party and combed a park near a highway. They handed out at least 100 missing person flyers throughout the Sugar Land area in Houston, Sunday.

"They (police) were mentioning a park close to Highway 6 and I-59, and this was the first park that came to mind, and it's a big park, a lot of grass, a lot of trails," Dominique Bryant, a family friend told CNN affiliate KPRC. "And I figured we could pass the flyers out because this park is always busy."

Maleah's stepfather, Darion Vence, reported her missing Saturday.

The Houston Police Department issued an Amber Alert for the girl after Vence told authorities that he, his 2-year-old son and Maleah were "abducted by 3 males sometime Friday night. "

Here's what we know:

Stepfather claims Hispanic male hit him
Vence told detectives that he, Maleah and his son were on their way to George Bush Intercontinental Airport Friday night to pick up Maleah's mother, who was flying in from Massachusetts, Sgt. Mark Holbrook of the Houston Police Department's Homicide Division said.

Holbrook said the stepfather claimed he heard a "popping noise," like a popped tire, and pulled over to check on it.

That's when a blue pickup truck pulled up behind the vehicle and two Hispanic males got out, Vence told police.

One purportedly made a comment that "Maleah looks very nice, looks very sweet," Holbrook said, quoting Vence's statement to officers. The other man hit Vence in the head and he lost consciousness, he told police.

Holbrook: 'A lot of blanks in the story'

When Vence woke up, he said, he was in the back of the truck with Maleah and her brother -- with three Hispanic males also in the vehicle.

He told police he was in and out of consciousness until about 6 p.m. Saturday, when he woke up on Highway 6 with the 2-year-old boy. Maleah was missing, Vence said. He walked to a nearby hospital, where he received treatment and reported the girl missing.

Holbrook told reporters Sunday, "I realize there's a lot blanks in the story." He said police hoped the public could help them "fill in the blanks" in the narrative provided to them by Vence.

Maleah had multiple brain surgeries, police say
In a news conference, Holbrook confirmed the young girl had had multiple brain surgeries, the most recent one in late March, early April, he said.

The surgeries were to help an injury heal, he said.

"She's needed a lot of care," he said. "This week she was sick too."

Police have identified make of both cars
Police have posted representative photos of the blue pickup truck that Vence claimed the abductors were driving.

The alert put out by the city describes the car as a "blue, crew-cab, Chevy pickup truck, possibly a 2010 year model."

The vehicle Vence was driving -- a silver Nissan Altima that belongs to Maleah's mother -- is also missing, Holbrook said.

A traffic camera captured an image of the car driving through an intersection in Sugar Land just before 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.