Car belonging to Maleah Davis' family appears 'normal', yields no clues to her disappearance

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Thursday, May 9, 2019
Car belonging to Maleah Davis' family appears 'normal', yields no clues to her disappearance
Investigators searched the Nissan Altima, but found no visible evidence inside of it.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The vehicle belonging to the family of missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis was found in Missouri City Thursday morning.

Investigators searched the Nissan Altima, but found no visible evidence inside of it. They said there was nothing suspicious inside of the car, and that it looked normal, meaning that there are no obvious signs of anything unusual.

Car belonging to missing girl's family found

Detective Ken Fregia said that the car was unlocked when officials arrived, and that it was clean.

The vehicle will be taken to the Houston Police Department for further processing.

Maleah's mother, Brittany Bowens, was also at the scene, where she was consoled. "Where is Maleah? Where is my baby?" she tearfully yelled.

Investigators give update on search for Maleah

A woman spotted the Nissan Altima in the parking lot of a shopping center at 5425 Highway 6. The woman reported the vehicle to police after saying she recognized it from a photo aired on ABC13.

The co-worker of the woman who found the car said she was very emotional when she made the discovery.

"She is broken, she can't even hold herself. She is crying, very frantic. Everyone is shaking, because this is like the movies, it doesn't look real," said Emmanuel Joseph.

Volunteers resumed their search for Maleah Thursday morning after weather halted it the day before.

Texas EquuSearch said it is in a race against the weather, which is expected to bring heavy rounds of rain between now and Saturday.

Weather could shut down the search for three days, but officials at the scene stressed they are not going to stop looking for the girl.

Search resumes for missing Maleah Davis

Meanwhile, police have found the stepfather's story to be inconsistent.

Darion Vence originally told officers he was attacked while checking his tire over the weekend. But Sugar Land police say his story changed multiple times when they questioned him.

According to police, Vence showed up at Sugar Land Methodist Hospital on Saturday night, where an off-duty officer noticed fresh wounds on him. Vence claimed to be the victim of a roadside attack by three Hispanic men the day before while on his way to pick up the girl's mother from Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Police also initially stated Vence was with Maleah and his 1-year-old son when he was left unconscious. He stated that he regained consciousness late Saturday afternoon on the side of Highway 6 near First Colony Mall. His son was with him but Maleah was not.

Vence's son is now in the care of a relative.

On Wednesday, the Sugar Land Police Department revealed the original story had changed while Vence was questioned.

"During the initial interview, the man's story did change several times and some of what he told us just didn't add up," said Doug Adolph, the spokesperson for Sugar Land police.

Houston police took command of the investigation since the attack reportedly happened in the city limits.

SLPD also revealed the family's Nissan Altima, which was reported stolen after the attack on Vence, was seen driving around Sugar Land at 3 p.m. Saturday, just several hours before he told police that he regained consciousness.

Authorities said Thursday during a press conference that they did not notice anything unusual about the tires.

So far, Vence is not facing any charges, and police have not considered him a suspect in Maleah's disappearance.

Fregia said they have reached out to Vence to do a sketch of the possible suspects, but have not spoken to him in a couple days. They are still looking for him.

On Tuesday, Maleah's biological father, Craig Davis, spoke for the first time since the search began to ABC13 Eyewitness News. He said he wanted to speak directly with Vence about what happened.

RELATED: Missing girl's biological dad: 'I can't control my emotions'

Speaking first to ABC13, the biological father of Maleah Davis wants the girl's stepdad to speak to him about what happened when she disappeared.

"I'm not putting the blame on anybody," Craig said. "I just need the questions that aren't answered to be answered. There are so many unanswered questions. It's not for the public to answer to them for me. It's not for the police to answer them for me. It's not for the news to answer them for me. It's for Darion to answer for me."

Earlier this week, ABC13 learned the little girl, along with two of her siblings, was taken from her home last August as CPS investigated her head injuries. In court documents from Jan. 25, doctors couldn't confirm whether Maleah's injuries were caused by abuse, and due to this, CPS recommended Maleah and her siblings be returned to their family. They were back home by the following month.

The family told Eyewitness News the injuries were from an accidental fall.

Stefania Okolie breaks down the timeline of events in the case of missing girl Maleah Davis