‘High probability’ body found in Brays Bayou is that of missing 2-year-old, chief says

HOUSTON, Texas – Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said there is a “high probability” that the body found in Brays Bayou on Sunday morning is that of Maliyah Bass, a 2-year-old girl reported missing in southwest Houston.

“That’s my best friend, that my tootie. “ said Maliyah’s mom Sahara Ervin.

During a press conference Sunday afternoon, Acevedo said he believes foul play was involved in the child’s death but police do not have any leads or suspects at this time. He asked the public for help in seeking justice for Maliyah.

“If you live or have a business by the bayou, go back the last 24 hours, take a look at any cameras you might have,” Acevedo said.

The police are looking for video or anyone who may have been in the area, including joggers, that may have seen something suspicious within the last 36 hours near the Brays Bayou.

“How do you take an innocent baby?” Ervin said.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Houston Police Department at 713-308-3600.

Maliyah Bass (HPD)

Body found in the bayou

About 10:30 a.m. Sunday, a female jogger told police she spotted a body in the bayou and called her husband. About 30 minutes later, the couple called 911.

The Houston Fire Department water rescue team arrived and pulled the body of a child from the water. The child was pronounced dead at the scene. Police arrived at the scene a short time later.

Acevedo said he told Maliyah’s family to prepare for the worst.

“Take a moment to pray for the family,” Acevedo said during the press conference. “We need justice for this family.”

Maliyah was last seen Saturday morning at her family’s apartment complex playground in the 10600 block of Beechnut Street.

“It just takes a little mistake in the blink of an eye my baby was gone and I feel like it’s my fault because I wasn’t watching her at the park. I was sitting inside playing a game,” said the mother’s bother Travion Thompson said.

“They should have of me, they should of took me,” Ervin said.

Police said the child has not yet been identified and the child’s cause of death is not yet known.

Texas Equusearch joined the search efforts. While the Texas Center for the Missing has issued a Houston Regional Amber Alert.

Watch the news briefing in its entirety below:


About the Authors:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.