MISSOURI CITY, Texas – There were a few developments Thursday in the search for Maleah Davis, who was reported missing Sunday after her stepfather told police that he, Maleah and his 2-year-old son were abducted by three men in a blue Chevrolet truck.
A car was found
- Where did it happen: A cab driver spotted a vehicle that belongs to the family of 4-year-old Maleah Thursday morning around 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Missouri City, according to police. Detective Ken Fregia of the Houston Police Department said the cab driver called police when she spotted the vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping center at the corner of Highway 6 and Riverstone Boulevard.
- What police found: “The vehicle was unlocked when we got here,” Fregia said. “There’s no obvious signs of anything happening in the car.” Fregia said a child’s car seat was found inside, but Maleah has not been found.
What police are working on
- Checking video: Officers are checking surveillance video at stores in the shopping center to see if they can determine when the vehicle was dropped off and by whom, Fregia said. He said the vehicle will be towed to the crime lab and processed by technicians, who will dust for fingerprints.
- Talking to the family: Fregia said investigators have not been able to reach Maleah's stepfather and that they would like for him to help assemble a sketch of the people who he says were involved in the abduction. Investigators have said Maleah’s stepfather is a person of interest in connection with her disappearance, citing inconsistencies in his story about how she was taken. Court documents show Maleah's maternal grandmother has requested that the children stay in her care.
Search for Maleah continues
- The weather’s impact: Tim Miller, founder of Texas EquuSearch, said rain halted the ground search Wednesday, and the ground search resumed Thursday in an area near the intersection of Kirkwood Road and Bissonnet Street in Alief, about 300 feet from the stepfather’s apartment, where Maleah was last seen. Miller said the search Thursday has been called off due to weather and safety. Thursday, heavy rains and flash flooding were predicted.
- Finding the car a big deal: Miller said the finding of the car was a huge discovery in the case and brings him hope that police may get closer to finding now. Miller said it is changing their strategy. "We're not going to be searching the area we were searching now that the car is found. I think this is a big break for us right now and I'm hopeful it's going to lead us where we need to be," Miller said.
- Help police: Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 911.