Why CPS says Maleah Davis was pulled from her home last year

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor, Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A 4-year-old girl who was reported missing Sunday was removed from her home last year, according to officials.

The search for Maleah Davis began over the weekend after her stepfather told police that he, Maleah and his 2-year-old son were abducted by three men in a blue Chevy truck. He said he was knocked out and when he regained consciousness, Maleah and the family’s car were gone.

According to officials at Child Protective Services, the state agency received a report of allegations of physical abuse in August after Maleah suffered a head injury. Maleah and her brother had been in CPS Custody for the past several months, according to court documents.

Brittany Bowens, Maleah's mother, was allowed to visit Maleah and her older brother once a week every Saturday while they were in CPS custody. Their biological father, Craig Davis Jr., was not visiting with his children for unknown reasons, court documents said.

“Maleah and her brothers were removed from the home and placed with a relative at the time,” officials said in their written statement.

Officials said a judge ordered the children be returned home in February but under monitored conditions.

Court documents said Maleah and her older brother were physically abused and neglected by Bowens and Davis In another section of the court documents, a doctor couldn't confirm whether Maleah's injuries were caused by abuse and Bowens was in parenting classes.

"Brittany Bowens has engaged in a history or pattern of child abuse and child neglect," court documents said. "Craig Davis has engaged in a history or pattern of child abuse and child neglect."

A CPS Custody hearing was scheduled for May 22, according to court documents.

“CPS would maintain temporary custody and visit the home at least monthly to make sure everything is OK,” officials said regarding the conditions set forth by the judge.

Officials said they have extra CPS staff working with family and law enforcement to help find Maleah. Texas EquuSearch also joined the growing effort Monday.

Bowens and her attorney did not respond to a request for comment on the CPS allegations.

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