HOUSTON – The case of missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis has been going on for more than a week with new questions arising daily. KPRC2 is working to get to the bottom of any unanswered questions.
Stories about Maleah have been some of our most-read articles and most-watched videos during that time. KPRC2 followers and viewers have had many questions surrounding Maleah's disappearance, her mother's story and the fact that her stepfather is facing charges in connection with the case.
Reporter Sophia Beausoleil participated in a live chat Wednesday afternoon on Click2Houston.com to answer your questions.
Below we lay out the most popular questions from the live chat -- those to which we know the answer and those that remain unanswered.
Here are the questions we have been able to answer:
Q: If there were allegations of abuse, why was Maleah returned to her mother?
A: During recent court hearings, CPS documents reveal the goal was to reunite Maleah and her brother with their mother, Brittany Bowens. The documents state a doctor could not confirm whether or not the injuries were caused by abuse. The court ordered a "monitored return" of Maleah and her brother to Bowens in February 2019. Read more about Maleah's CPS history here.
Q: Who has custody of Maleah's brother?
A: At last check, one of the grandparents has custody of the child. Those documents have since been sealed.
Q: Stepfather vs ex-fiance?
A: Derion Vence is Bowen's ex-fiance, but KPRC2 continues to refer to Vence at Maleah's stepfather because law enforcement is referring to him with that title. Vence is charged in connection with the case.
Q: Why did Vence's bail drop from nearly $1M to $45K?
A: Texas law states a high bond amount like $1 million can only be used for limited cases like capital murder, according to KPRC2 legal analyst Brian Wice. Vence is charged with tampering with evidence, specifically a human corpse. That charge is a second-degree felony with a punishment of two to 20 years in prison. Read more about the legal ramifications of the case here.
Q: Does Vence have an attorney?
A: Yes, he hired an attorney.
Here are the questions that remain unanswered:
Q: When did Bowens leave and return to town?
A: Investigators have only said Bowens took a flight out of town on April 30. No time has been given. There are many questions into the time frame of her trip, but investigators have not revealed additional details. Here's a timeline we compiled of the case.
Q: Who dropped Vence off at the hospital?
A: Police have not said. They are searching for the person(s) who dropped him off in order to question them, but police have not said if they know who that person is. Here's more about the surveillance photos.
Q: Have investigators tracked the vehicle and Vence's cell phone?
A: Police took the vehicle. We can assume investigators will look into license plate readers in the area and cell phone records to determine Vence's movements. Warrant were more than likely filed, and if so, those would remain sealed during the investigation. Police have not revealed any further details. Read what police have said about the vehicle here.
Do you have more questions? Leave them in the comments below.