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Houston-based artist Shirley Scarpetta is ensuring that the memory of Maleah Davis is kept alive. In honor of the four-year-old, whose body was discovered in Arkansas just over a month ago, Scarpetta is creating a bronze sculpture in her likeness, CNN reported.

The artist—who is an award-winning self-taught bronze sculptor—was inclined to create the statue because she felt deeply impacted by the horrific turn of events that took place within the case. As a mother, she couldn’t even begin to imagine having something so tragic happen to her children and was extremely upset upon hearing that Maleah lost her life. Scarpetta says Maleah serves as a representation of children who were taken from this earth too soon and that violence against children must stop; that’s the message she wanted to convey through her artistry.

“It’s for all of us. Our children are so vulnerable, and people need to be reminded to leave a legacy of kindness and loving one another,” she said in a statement, according to CNN. A private donor is helping bring the sculpture to fruition and it will take about a month to complete. There aren’t any details about where the sculpture will live after its finished, but it most likely will be in Houston.

Scarpetta has been showing the progression of the sculpture on Instagram. “I couldn’t get her out of my head for a while now. When this happens, I usually have an out of body experience and have to sculpt it,” she posted. “Her tragedy should not have happened. All those that have babies have a massive responsibility to protect, love, and nurture our babies.”


There have been a few efforts made to memorialize Maleah. There are plans in the works to have the Red Lake Road overpass in Hempstead County named after her. Maleah went missing on April 30 and her remains were found on May 31 in Fulton, Arkansas. In the case, her mother’s fiancé Derion Vence was charged with tampering with a corpse but has evaded more serious charges.


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