Stepfather Of Maleah Davis, Derion Vence, Reportedly Confesses That Child Is Dead, Her Body Is In Arkansas

Court documents report that “there is a substantial likelihood” that Derion Vance may be charged with murder.

May 13, 2019
Mug shot of Derion Vence [Houston Police Department]

Photo by: Mug shot of Derion Vence [Houston Police Department]

Mug shot of Derion Vence [Houston Police Department]

By: Mike McPadden

UPDATE (MAY 31, 2019):

Derion Vence, the stepfather of missing four-year-old Maleah Davis, reportedly confessed to community activist Quanell X that the little girl is dead and her body is in Arkansas, according to numerous media reports.

The toddler’s stepfather has been a person of interest in her disappearance. He has been in custody for weeks, authorities say, on a charge of tampering with a corpse in connection to Maleah’s vanishing.

Investigators say they are en route to look for the child’s remains.

Read more: KHOU, KRIV


HOUSTON, TX — Derion Vence, the 26-year-old man who police say was the last person to see missing four-year-old Maleah Davis alive on May 3, was arrested on Saturday on a charge of tampering with evidence related, authorities say.

Sources report that the arrest occurred after police say they spotted drops of blood in a hallway that led to a bedroom in Vence’s apartment. Officers alleged that they observed more blood drops in the bathroom.

Court documents reveal that law-enforcement specialists sprayed the area with a “chemical reagent” and that the substance reacted positively to the presence of still more blood in the apartment on a microscopic level.

Police reported that the blood was “consistent” with DNA taken from Maleah’s toothbrush. Authorities have not yet officially announced whether or not they believe the child is dead.

Harris County prosecutor Pat Stayton told the press that, in addition to the blood findings, two canine officers reacted to the trunk of the car Vence was allegedly driving. Stayton said, “The dogs were reacting to the scent of human decomposition.”

Authorities also cited surveillance video that they say indicates Maleah went inside the home with Vence and then never left on the day she went missing. Police allege that the video does, however, depict Vence carrying a blue laundry basket and a trash bag out of his apartment on May 3. According to legal documents, investigators found a blue laundry basket in the car like the one in the video.

A probable cause document filed by Harris County authorities defines the charge against Vence as "tampering with evidence, namely a corpse."

A judge reportedly set Vence’s bond at $1 million after an assistant district attorney wrote in a court document that "there is a substantial likelihood that additional charges may be forthcoming, including but not limited to the first-degree felony offense of murder.”

According to law-enforcement records, Vence initially told police that he was driving Maleah and his two-year-old son on May 3 when three men in a pickup truck attacked them and abducted Maleah, and that his car was stolen as well.

Authorities say that Vence told them he drifted in and out of consciousness before wandering into a hospital the next day. Police have since stated that they have obtained surveillance video of Vence being dropped off at the hospital in the car he allegedly claimed had been stolen.

Prosecutors said that tampering with a human corpse is a second-degree felony in Texas and, if Vence is convicted just on that charge, he could face between two and 20 years in jail.

Derion Vence is reportedly scheduled to appear back in court on Monday, May 13.

Next Up

Cops: Body Found In Arkansas Positively ID’d As Missing 4-Year-Old Maleah Davis

The remains were located on Friday, reportedly in the area where the child's stepdad, Derion Vence, allegedly said he dumped her.

Stepfather Named 'Person of Interest' In The Case Of Missing 4-Year-Old Maleah Davis

Darion Vence told cops three men abducted her last Friday; CPS has since confirmed taking the child from her home last year over abuse claims.

Deadly Dads: 5 Fathers Who Killed Their Own Kids

Give your dad a call this Father’s Day … and give thanks you weren’t born to one of these monsters.

Baby Killed By 6-Year-Old Sister While Dad Is Shopping, Left Kids Alone In Car

The sister, 6, “got angry and wrapped the seatbelt” around the 1-year-old boy’s head.

Iowa Father Still Searching For Answers 8 Years After Son’s Disappearance

Michael Workman’s son, Fredrick James Workman, disappeared at age 15 and may use the alias "Fred Shields."

Video: Candice DeLong Weighs In On "Deadly Women" Michelle Carter, Gypsy Rose Blanchard and Andrea Yates

See what the former FBI criminal profiler has to say about these deadly women.

Mom Allegedly Drowned Her 10-Month-Old Twin Sons In A Motel Bathtub

Heather Langdon’s sister Teresa says she just saw Heather last weekend, and that her sister “seemed normal.”

New Report Details Most Bizarre Evidence From Chris Watts Family Murder Case

The discovery documents portray the stark reality of a family falling apart, and a 33-year-old man who decided murdering three innocent people was the easiest way out of his marriage and life as a father.

True Crime News Roundup: Millionaire Robert Durst On Trial For Murder

A woman allegedly killed her newborn after delivering; the lawyer whose wife and son were murdered in June was shot in the head; and a toddler died after suspects police believe are students shot up his family’s home.

Inside The Tragic Hart Family Murder-Suicide Crash

Jennifer and Sarah Hart killed themselves and murdered their six adopted children in 2018 by driving their SUV off a cliff in California.