ROSHARON, Texas – The search for a 4-year-old Houston girl who has been missing for nearly two weeks expanded Tuesday to a haunted house in Rosharon.
Members of Texas EquuSearch said teams were combing an area near the Creepy Hollow Haunted House off State Highway 288 in Brazoria County. They would only say they were investigating a tip they had received.
Jack Boggess, the search coordinator for Texas EquuSearch, said crews used ATV’s to search the tall brush and wooded areas in Brazoria County.
“We are looking for anything that doesn’t belong. As you drive along or walk along and see something, well, this shouldn’t be here,” Boggess said.
He said that police requested that crews come and check out the area and, although, in the vicinity, the haunted house was not a focus of the search.
“It just so happened that the arrow fell here. Nothing to do with the haunted house,” Boggess said.
Crews didn’t find anything during the search on Tuesday but Boggess said he hopes that they will find answers.
“It digs on you but you know that is our job,” he said.
Maleah was reported missing May 4 after her stepfather, Derion Vence, said he, Maleah and her younger brother were attacked when he stopped to change a tire. He said he was knocked out during the attack and when he regained consciousness, Maleah and the family’s car was gone.
An Amber Alert was issued and crews began searching an area near the family’s apartment in southwest Houston, saying that was the last place Maleah was seen.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Where is Maleah?
Police named Vence a person of interest in the case, citing inconsistencies in his story about how Maleah was kidnapped. He was arrested Saturday and charged with tampering with evidence.
According to court documents, blood evidence recovered in the family’s apartment matched Maleah’s DNA that was collected from her toothbrush.
Vence was originally ordered held in jail on $999,999 bond, but a judge reduced that amount to $45,000 on Monday. He was still being held at the Harris County Jail on Tuesday.