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'We know she's still missing' | Stepfather in Maleah Davis case due back in court

The investigation continues, but now more than ever, Maleah's mother fully expects the worst.

HOUSTON — Derion Vence remains locked up at the Harris County Jail held on a $1 million bond in connection to the disappearance of his stepdaughter Maleah Davis.

Meanwhile new court documents are putting together a disturbing puzzle of what may have happened to Maleah.

"I can guarantee you there will be a murder indictment on this man," said community activist Quanell X. "Evidence from inside the apartment being analyzed right now will help us all learn the truth of what he did with her body."

Quanell X said Maleah's mother Brittany Bowens is devastated. Houston police revealed that last Sunday they found drops of blood in the hallway leading to the bathroom. 

They also sprayed a chemical in the bathroom that helped detect more blood not visible to the naked eye. 

Investigators said the reaction happens when someone's "attempted to clean up blood." That blood has been linked to DNA on Maleah's toothbrush.

"He did this to hurt the mother in a way she would never recover," said Quanell X. 

Investigators also have surveillance video of Vence leaving the apartment with a laundry basket and a large garbage bag. Detectives say it appears whatever he was carrying in it was "heavy due to his stance when he was walking."

Vence is also seen carrying in bleach. 

On Thursday police found the car Vence had reported stolen. The same laundry basket from the surveillance image and this gas can were in the trunk. 

HPD cadaver dogs reacted to a scent in the trunk when it was further examined. The dogs are trained to detect human decomposition. All of it was enough evidence to charge Vence with tampering with evidence, namely a corpse. 

Still no one knows where Maleah is. 

"We know she's still missing," said Tim Miller, director of Texas Equusearch. "The second fact we know is he's not telling the truth. We got to keep searching."

Miller was up in a Fort Bend County helicopter surveying new search areas looking specifically for signs of unusual burnt ground. 

"He did not buy that gas can to just have the gas can," said Miller.

Miller wants to further narrow down the search area. The investigation continues, but now more than ever, Maleah's mother fully expects the worst.

"We've spoken several times today, and I can tell you Brittany is totally devastated by the loss of her daughter," said Quanell X. "She's beating herself up and some of it is deserved."

Vence is due back in court Monday morning. 


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