The stepfather of a missing 4-year-old Houston girl has become a “person of interest” in the case, just days after he reported that she had been abducted by three Hispanic men while the family was on the way to pick up the girl’s mother from the airport.
Houston Police told local station KRIV that Darion Vence is now considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Maleah Davis, as investigators continue to search for the missing girl. Search efforts have now moved to Sugar Land, near Vence’s home.
Vence told police that he had been on the way to the airport to pick up Davis’ mother, Brittany Bowens, on Friday night when he pulled over to investigate what he thought was a flat tire.
After stopping the vehicle, Vence told authorities that three Hispanic men in a blue pick up truck pulled up behind him and told him that Maleah, who had recently had brain surgery, “looks very nice, looks very sweet,” according to The Houston Chronicle.
Vence said the men then attacked him, knocking him unconscious. He claims he couldn’t remember anything from 9 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. the next day as he drifted in and out of consciousness.
He claims the men dropped him and his 2-year-old son off, but he didn’t know what happened to Davis.
However, a spokesman for the Sugar Land police said Vence’s story has “changed several times” since he first reported the young girl missing on Saturday, the Associated Press reports.
Davis had been removed from the home by Child Protective Services in August after concerns that she may have been physically abused. According to officials with Child Protective Services in Houston, Davis had suffered a head injury shortly before she was removed from the home, along with two of her brothers.
A judge ordered all three children to be returned to the home in February with the condition that they be monitored by CPS caseworkers.
On Tuesday, the girl’s biological father, Craig Davis, spoke out for the first time in an interview with KTRK, saying that he has been devastated by the disappearance.
“I haven’t spoken to the public because I can’t talk about my daughter. I can’t control my emotions. I can’t predict myself. I break down and I cry,” he said.
He is hoping to speak with Vence to learn more about the events leading up to his daughter’s disappearance.
“I’m not putting the blame on anybody,” he said. “I just need the questions that aren’t answered to be answered. There are so many unanswered questions.”
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