HOUSTON – EquuSearch joined the Houston Police Department on Monday in the search for a 4-year-old girl at the center of an Amber Alert.
“We got a lot of work to do and got a lot of great investigators working with us, and again, we’re going to give it our best shot,” said EquuSearch's Tim Miller.
Volunteers combed a wooded area along the Eastex Freeway and Greens Road on foot and on ATVs. The area is where Maleah, 4, was kidnapped, according to her stepfather. Later Monday, crews were seen searching another area, at First Colony Mall in Sugar Land.
“I’m a firm believer everyone’s doing the right things for the right reasons. We’ll come up with the right results and I think that between law enforcement and us, we’re focused on one thing, and it’s a baby,” Miller said.
An HPD helicopter was spotted flying over the area in northeast Harris County on Monday morning.
Maleah, her stepfather, Darion Vence, and his 2-year-old son were heading to Bush Intercontinental Airport to pick up Maleah's mother Friday night, according to her stepdad.
Vence told police he heard a pop from his silver Nissan Altima and stopped to check it out.
He said three Hispanic men drove up in a blue, 2010 Chevrolet pickup truck and one hit him over the head and he lost consciousness.
Police said the last thing Vence remembered was waking up Saturday by Highway 6 and the Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land.
Maleah and the Nissan were gone.
Family and friends handed out flyers Sunday at Oyster Creek Park, which is in the area near the search.
"If you have her, just please drop her off somewhere safe. If you want to keep the car or keep whatever you found, that's alright, but we just want her back safe and sound,” said family friend Amber Fannin.
Neighbors said investigators were at the family’s apartment on Kirkwood in Meadows Place on Sunday, collecting evidence and talking to neighbors.
Maleah recently underwent brain surgery and requires constant care.
Anyone with information on Maleah’s whereabouts is urged to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.
Maleah's mother and grandmother made pleas to help find the child on Monday night.