The remains discovered scattered along a highway in Arkansas last week have been positively identified as missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis, Houston police confirmed Monday.
Police Chief Art Acevedo said the department was “saddened” by the news but “heartened by the fact that this sweet child can now receive the proper burial she deserved.”
The missing girl’s bones were found in a bloodied black garbage bag by a road crew on Interstate 30 near Fulton, about 330 miles from where she vanished, KTRK reported. Her cause of death hasn’t been released.
Derion Vence, who dated the missing girl’s mother, confessed to killing the girl by accident and provided law enforcement with enough information to send them to Arkansas, according to KTRK.
Vence, 27, initially claimed a group of men in a truck kidnapped him on May 4 along with Maleah and his 2-year-old son. He told police he and the boy were able to escape but that the abductors fled with Maleah in his Nissan Altima.
His story unraveled when officers discovered his car days later without any evidence that corroborated his account.
Vence faces charges of tampering with a corpse but more charges could be filed, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
“The Houston Police Department will continue to work diligently with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and other partners to ensure the person(s) responsible for her death, and the attempted cover-up of her death, are held responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” police said.
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