HOUSTON – A small, makeshift memorial of balloons, flowers and candles could be seen Monday outside the southwest Houston apartment where 2-year-old Maliyah Bass lived.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said there is a “high probability” that the body of a 2-year-old child found in Brays Bayou on Sunday morning is Maliyah’s. She was previously reported missing in southwest Houston.
Anger boiled over at the Sunset Crossing Apartments off Beechnut Monday. Neighbors who live there were not happy to see Maliyah’s mother and boyfriend return to the property with Houston activist Quanell X. The crowd gathered outside of the apartment to express their frustration.
“That hurts me so bad because I feel like they were emotionless,” said Myocya Barnes, who helped search for Maliyah on Saturday. “They were emotionless while people out here and in this neighborhood are crying tears for to you — blood sweat and tears for you in the rain.”
Many of the neighbors said they went door-to-door Saturday morning looking for the missing 2-year-old who police say was left on the playground while her mother was inside the apartment cooking.
Quanell X met with Maliyah’s mother and boyfriend inside their apartment and said the couple’s story left him with a lot of questions.
“Who kidnapped the child? Was she ever kidnapped? We don’t know yet but it doesn’t pass the smell test,” he said. “No responsible parent would leave their child on the playground like that for 5 minutes knowing it’s a high crime area and shut the door behind them.”
Quanell X said he was concerned with the living conditions he saw inside. He said it was very rough conditions for a child. He said while he won’t represent the family, he plans to get to the truth. In 2019, Quanell X helped to bring 4-year-old Maleah Davis’ body from Arkansas back to Houston.
“This is an emotional situation for everybody in America right now because this little girl’s name was Maliyah,” said Barnes. “This is another one. This is another wake-up call that we have to protect our babies.”
Sahara Ervin, Maliyah’s mother, and her boyfriend Travion Thompson said they left Maliyah to play on the playground while they were inside their apartment making breakfast. They told police Maliyah was gone when they returned.
A child’s body was found by a jogger Sunday morning in Brays Bayou in southeast Houston. The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said they are still working to positively identify the child’s body, though police say it’s a high probability it is Maliyah’s body.
Investigators and Texas Equusearch began searching 24 miles of the bayou by land, kayak and ATV in their search for evidence. Detectives said they have no leads at this point in their investigation.