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A 4-year-old Houston girl who was allegedly abducted Friday from her stepfather by three strangers had been removed from her home a year ago after possible abuse was reported.
An Amber Alert has been issued for 4-year-old Maleah Davis, whose stepfather Darion Vence says was taken by a group of three Hispanic males in a blue pickup truck who had attacked him. Maleah's family stressed that the child was recovering from brain surgery and needed extra care, pleading with the abductors to return the small girl. CNN now reports that Davis had received the surgery to help her recover from injuries sustained in the past year.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services tells CNN that Maleah and her 2-year-old brother had been removed from their home a year ago and placed in the temporary care of a relative as authorities looked into Maleah's head injury. In February, a judge ordered both Maleah and her brother back to their home under the temporary conservatorship of Child Protective Services, who were mandated to check in on the family once a month.
Vence said that he was on the way to pick up Maleah's mother, Brittany Bowens, from the airport Friday night when he was attacked by three strangers. Fading in and out of consciousness for roughly a day, Vence's timeline of events was unclear. When he finally came to Saturday evening with Maleah's brother at his side, he wandered to a nearby hospital, where he reported the girl as missing. Police are now hunting for clues as Maleah's current whereabouts.
Detective Mark Holbrook explained the situation as it stands at a press conference on Saturday.
“I realize there’s a lot of blanks in the story ... [Maleah] needs a lot of care and she was sick this week, too," Holbrook said.
Maleah's mother has since discussed the immense distress she is undergoing as a result of the alleged abduction.
"My spirit is so broken, I feel so lost. I can't concentrate, I can't focus. It's so overwhelming for me. It doesn't seem real," Bowens told KTRK of Houston, Texas.
Maleah is described as about 3 feet tall, weighing between 30 to 40 pounds. She was last seen wearing a light blue Under Armour jacket, blue jeans, gray Under Armour tennis shoes with pink and white details and had a pink bow in her hair.
Anyone with information on Maleah Davis is urged to contact the Houston Police Department at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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