Bond amount for Maleah Davis' stepfather reduced from $999,999 to $45,000

By Brittany Taylor - Digital News Editor, Sally Mamdooh - Reporter

HOUSTON - The ex-fiance of missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis' mother, Derion Vence, who was also the last person to see Maleah, was arrested and charged Saturday morning, according to the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force. 

The Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force assisted in his arrest in a Sugar Land neighborhood. The Sugar Land Police Department said it also provided assistance to Houston police to serve an arrest warrant in their jurisdiction. 

Vence, 26, has been charged with tampering with evidence of a human corpse, a felony. He is being held in the Harris County Jail.

Vence made his first court appearance at 8 p.m. Saturday, where his bond was set at $999,999 but it was later reduced to $45,000 on Monday.

Houston police identified Vence as Maleah's stepfather, but Maleah's mother, Brittany Bowens, said that she broke off her engagement to Vence before Maleah's disappearance.

An Amber Alert was issued for Maleah on May 5. Vence told police that he, Maleah and his 2-year-old son were abducted May 3 by three men in a blue Chevrolet truck.

Investigators said Vence was named as a person of interest in connection with her disappearance, citing inconsistencies in his story about how she was taken Tuesday. 

Bowens, with community activist Quanell X speaking for her, claimed Friday afternoon that there is surveillance video that will help police in their investigation.

A surveillance photo showed Vence leaving his apartment with a basket after Maleah's disappearance. 

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A surveillance photo shows Darion Vence leaving the apartment after Maleah's disappearance.

After investigating Vence's apartment, Houston police said blood evidence was found and linked to Maleah.

Maleah is still missing. 

Tamisha Mendoza said she's been out searching for Maleah alongside volunteers since 10 a.m. Saturday. Mendoza is a relative of Maleah’s biological father. 

“He is devastated,” said Mendoza. 

Volunteers plan to continue their search Sunday morning, hitting bayous and fields in the area. 

“We have to come together and support each other. That's the only way,” Mendoza said.

Anyone with any information in this case or regarding Maleah's whereabouts is asked to call the Houston Police Department Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.

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