HOUSTON – The reward for information in the disappearance of Maleah Davis was increased Thursday to $20,000.
Officials have been searching for the 4-year-old Houston girl since she was reported missing by her stepfather, Derion Vence, on May 4.
Crime Stoppers of Houston offered an initial reward of $5,000 shortly after Maleah went missing. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Thursday his department will be providing an additional $5,000 of reward money. On Thursday evening, Ronnie and Karen Bias, also known as Dude and Nene, from Lake Charles, Louisiana, offered an additional $10,000, bringing the total reward to $20,000.
According to investigators, Vence said he, Maleah and Maleah’s younger brother were attacked May 3 when he stopped to check a damaged tire. He said he was knocked out during the attack and when he regained consciousness, Maleah and the family’s car were gone.
Vence was later arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the case.
Investigators said blood found in the family’s southwest Houston apartment matched DNA taken from Maleah’s toothbrush.
Acevedo said Thursday that Vence’s story is full of holes and he is convinced that Vence knows where to find Maleah.
“Maleah deserved to be found, be recovered and deserves a proper burial, and we need the community’s help,” Acevedo said.