ROSHARON, Texas – The search for a missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis continued during the day Wednesday in Rosharon, but officials canceled the search later Wednesday night.
During the day, members of Texas EquuSearch assembled at the Spaceland Houston facility at the corner of FM roads 521 and 1462 in the small Brazoria County town, and appeared to be searching some nearby woods for Maleah. Ground crews, ATVs and a helicopter all appeared to be in use.
Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller said the terrain and recent rain in the area proved to be difficult for crews in the search. The search was canceled around 9 p.m.
“We have a lot of things against us and are doing the best we can possibly do,” Miller said.
Miller said a comment that Maleah's stepfather, Derion Vence, made in the past led them to search in Brazoria County.
“He actually said to his mother-in-law a year ago, he said, 'Man, if I ever killed anybody, I got some places down in Rosharon where they would never find the body,'” Miller said.
Miller said he confirmed that statement with Maleah's mother, Brittany Bowens.
Vence is charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the case.
EquuSearch said its crews searched along Vence's former mail route in Rosharon. The U.S. Postal Service confirmed to KPRC2 that Vence was employed by the postal service from June 2017 through August 2018.
The search for Maleah, who was reported missing on May 4, expanded to a Rosharon haunted house property Tuesday when members of EquuSearch said they were asked by investigators to check a tip they had received in connection with her disappearance.
Vence said he, Maleah and Maleah’s younger brother were attacked May 3 when he stopped to investigate a damaged tire on the family’s car. He said that he was knocked out during the attack and when he regained consciousness, Maleah and the family’s car was gone.
Vence was arrested Saturday and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the case. He was being held in jail on $45,000 bond.
According to court documents, blood found in the family’s southwest Houston apartment matched DNA found on Maleah’s toothbrush.
Vence’s brother said his sibling is innocent.