ROSHARON, Texas - Houston Police Department homicide detectives went to Arkansas on Friday after remains were found during the search for Maleah Davis.
Tim Miller, from Texas EquuSearch, helped arrange the plane to take the investigators.
Initially, the detectives were going to Arkansas to search the area where Maleah's stepfather reportedly told a community activist that the 4-year-old's body was dumped -- at the first Hope exit coming from Texarkana. Derion Vence has been in jail since May 11, when he was charged with tampering with evidence in connection with Maleah’s disappearance after investigators said blood found in the family’s southwest Houston apartment matched DNA taken from Maleah’s toothbrush.
Community activist Quanell X said Vence told him Friday morning that Maleah is dead and that her death was the result of an accident. He said Vence confessed to dumping her body in Arkansas.
"He said that he pulled over in Arkansas, got out of the car, walked off the side of the road and dumped her body off the side of the road," Quanell X said.
Miller, another person from EquuSearch and two detectives took off from the Rosharon airstrip around 3 p.m. Just after they took off, the news broke that remains were found in a garbage bag emitting a foul odor near Exit 18 in Fulton, Arkansas, which is about 14 miles southwest of Hope.
Miller said he believed Vence's confession. Miller said Quanell X called him after he left the jail and he immediately called the police to get a plan in place.
"Right when Quanell called me, I called the detective and told the detective, 'I'm going to start calling for a plane or something on standby in case we need to go.' We went (and) we had a meeting, (there were) a lot of details and here we go," Miller said.
Miller said Vence told them basically the exact spot where Maleah's remains were dumped.
According to investigators, Vence told police that he, Maleah and Maleah’s younger brother were attacked April 30 when he stopped to inspect a damaged tire. He said he was knocked out during the attack and when he regained consciousness, Maleah and the family’s car were missing.
Vence reported Maleah missing May 4 when he went to a Sugar Land hospital for treatment of injuries he said he suffered during the attack.
Investigators said there have been inconsistencies in Vence’s story.
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