The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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UPDATED: 10 a.m. EDT, May 13

Derion Vence, the last person to see 4-year-old Maleah Davis alive, was scheduled to appear in court on Monday, when he was expected to be charged with murder. Court documents said police dogs alerted investigators to the “scent of decomposition” in the trunk of the car that Vence was driving when he claimed that Maleah was abducted.

CNN reported that the 26-year-old, who was arrested over the weekend, will more than likely be charged with murder.

Houston activist Quanell X, who also represents Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, claimed Vence “snapped” when she ended their engagement.

“When that happened, I believe that he psychologically snapped — already on top of being abusive to Maleah,” he said. “He did this to hurt the mother in a way that she would never recover.”

That said, there have also been questions surrounding the mother. For example, why didn’t she call the police when her Vence did not pick her up from the airport and was missing for 24 hours. There were also reports of the child being abused.

Maleah Davis was still missing as of Monday morning.

UPDATE: 8:44 a.m. EDT, May 10 — According to KHOU in Houston, local activist Quanell X claims Maleah’s stepfather, Derion Vence, is on a neighbor’s security camera with bottles of bleach and a garbage bag before the 4-year-old was reported missing. He said to reporters on Friday, “We know for a fact that police did take forensic evidence out of the apartment that indicates a crime took place inside that apartment.”

He also claims that Maleah’s mother Brittany Bowens threaten to break up with after she found photos he sent to a man. He also said, “He subsequently said some very disturbing things via text messages that the mother needs to share with law enforcement… We believe that he’s receiving family help and he’s on the run.”

The mother claims he is no longer talking to her or law enforcement. That said, there are still many questions surrounding the mother. See the original story below:

Original story:

Friday marks a week since Maleah Davis was allegedly kidnapped in Houston. Her stepfather Derion Vence, the last person to see her alive, said “Hispanic males” abducted the four-year-old girl while they were on their way to pick up her mother from the airport. But Twitter users have done their research and many tweeted that Vence had something to do with the disappearance. In addition, there were suspicions that her mother was covering up for Vence.

See Also: A Timeline Of Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Killing Botham Jean In His Own Home

One Twitter user from Houston asked several logical questions that had yet to be answered. For instance, why didn’t Maleah’s mother call the police when her husband and kids didn’t show up at the airport? Or, why was Maleah kidnapped by three random Hispanics?

Another tweet read, “We all know what happened. May he and her mom that also played a big part of hurting this innocent baby rot in eternal hell.”

Another tweet claimed that “The mom and stepfather didn’t want to seek medical care for her! Grandma had to tell them to do it. Sounds like mom and stepfather are 2 criminals. Don’t let her fake no tears ass off the hook!” See below:

Lastly, according to KTRK reporter Pooja Lodhia, investigators reportedly cannot find her stepfather, who had been named a person of interest in the case.

In case you missed it, Vence told Sgt. Mark Holbrook of the Houston Police Department’s Homicide Division that he, Maleah and his two-year-old son were on their way to George Bush Intercontinental Airport Friday night to pick up Maleah’s mother, who was flying in from Massachusetts. Vence said he heard a “popping noise,” like a popped tire and pulled over. He said a blue pickup truck pulled up behind his vehicle and two Hispanic males got out.

One of the men allegedly said “Maleah looks very nice, looks very sweet” before Vence was allegedly hit in the head. He supposedly lost consciousness and woke up at 6 p.m. on Saturday. He said Maleah was missing but his son was still there. Vence claims he walked to a hospital, received treatment and then reported Maleah as missing.

“I realize there’s a lot blanks [sic] in the story,” Holbrook said.

The Associated Press reported that Houston authorities said Vence’s account has “changed several times” and a reporter for the local Fox affiliate tweeted that police consider him a “person of interest.”

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said Maleah and her two brothers were removed from their home last year due to reports of abuse.

In August 2018, Maleah and her brothers were placed with a relative following physical abuse allegations, stemming from a head injury she had, CPS said Monday night,” CNN wrote. “A judge ordered their return home in February and called for CPS to maintain temporary conservatorship and visit the home at least once a month to check on the family.”

Maleah reportedly had multiple brain surgeries. According to ABC reporter Shelly Childers, the surgeries were due to physical abuse.

The stepfather’s car has been found, however. CNN reported that “a homicide detective with the Houston Police Department said the car’s condition appears normal, there’s no visible blood or obvious signs that something may have happened inside.”

In addition, the other children have been removed from the care of Vence Maleah’s mother.

“During an emergency hearing Wednesday morning, the court ordered Maleah’s younger half-brother to stay with his paternal grandmother,” KHOU reported. “Maleah’s older brother is now in the custody of his paternal aunt, and if Maleah is found alive, that’s where she would go.”

Maleah was reportedly last seen wearing a pink bow in her hair with a light blue zip-up jacket, blue jeans and gray, white and pink sneakers. She has black hair and brown eyes and stands 3 feet tall, weighing 30 to 40 pounds.

We hope and pray Maleah Davis is found safely.


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