HOUSTON - Documents filed in family court reveal a months-long investigation by Child Protective Services leading up to the disappearance of 4-year-old Maleah Davis.
The investigation looked into allegations that both Maleah's mother, Brittany Bowens, and biological father, Craig Davis Jr., abused Maleah and her 7-year-old brother.
KPRC2 has received the court documents dating back to 2018 after Maleah suffered a head injury, which apparently prompted the child abuse investigation.
We have gone through those documents and break down the timeline to give insight into the months before Maleah Davis' disappearance.
ORDER SETTING HEARING AND APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN/ATTORNEY ADLITEM: FILED AUG. 21, 2018 BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES
Bowens and Davis were ordered to appear in court on Aug. 22, 2018.
In the hearing, Bowens and Davis were ordered to provide contact information of other family members with whom the children may be placed with during the duration of the case.
The pair had to show the court what their resources were and what they could pay in child support, evidence of health insurance for the children, and adequate medical history for the children.
The court named Jared Woodfill as guardian/attorney ad lit em to represent the children in this case.
TEMPORARY ORDER FOLLOWING ADVERSARY HEARING: FILED SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
Present at this hearing: Marquise Williams, with the Department of Family and Protective Services. Mother Brittany Bowens with attorney Wade Christiansen. Father Craig Davis Jr. with attorney George Clevenger. Jared Woodfill appointed attorney and guardian ad litem for the children.
The parties agreed that the Department of Family and Protective Services was to be named temporary managing conservator of the children.
The court authorized TDFPS and Bowens as joint consentors concerning medical care of the children.
The parties agreed it would be in the best interest of the children to temporarily limit the rights and duties of each parent appointed as temporary possessory conservator.
Both Bowens and Davis are named temporary possessory conservator of Maleah and her brother.
During this time, both parents have the right to make medical decisions for each child.
Both parents have the right to visit the children if agreed by each parent and a court-appointed "sitter" or supervisor.
Both parents could visit Maleah at the hospital "at any time supervised by DFPS sitters.
It was ordered that the children be placed with a court sitter.
No movement of children without a court order.
Once ready for discharge from hospital, Maleah would be released to the court sitter.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR MONITORED RETURN OF CHILDREN TO PARENT, BRITTANY BOWENS: FILED FEBRUARY 7, 2019
The court considered the case of monitored return of Maleah and her brother to their mother.
The court grants "monitored return" of Maleah and her brother to mother Brittany by Feb. 15, 2019, by 5 p.m.
PERMANENCY REPORT TO THE COURT: TEMPORARY MANAGING CONSERVATORSHIP
This report entails the plan and progress of permanently placing Maleah and her brother with family.
Permanency hearing scheduled for May 22, 2019.
It states both Maleah and her brother were returned to their mother on Feb. 18, 2019.
Their initial placement date with DFPS was Aug. 14, 2018.
DFPS recommends that the case be continued until August 2019, with a dismissal date of August 2019.
The report cited "HISTORY OF FAMILY'S INVOLVEMENT WITH CHILD WELFARE:"
on 8/13/2018 Physical Abuse of Maleah Davis-- no known perpetrator
on 8/13/2018 Neglectful Supervision of Maleah Davis-- by Brittany Bowens
"WELL-BEING OF THE CHILD"
Description -- Maleah is a happy child that loves to watch cartoons, play with siblings and have her hair done. She is currently having all of her needs met and meeting all developmental milestones.
Maleah is currently living with her mother and has visits with her father. Maleah is currently receiving occupational and physical therapy and will soon be in speech therapy.
Permanency plan-- The primary goal is family reunification. The agency believes this is in the best interest of Maleah.
Due to the injuries, the doctor could not confirm whether or not the injuries were caused by abuse. Ms. Bowens has completed parenting classes due to that being the only thing the judge ordered.
At the same time, if mother Brittany Bowens cannot take care of Maleah and her brother, the courts would be asking a relative to take custody of the children.
The judge at a previous hearing only ordered the parents to complete parenting classes.
The court recommends the "Texas Department of Family and Protective Services be dismissed from the case and regarding Maleah and her brother, that their placement be continued and approved (returned to MOTHER BRITTANY BOWENS).
See below for a timeline of the Maleah Davis case.
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