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Bond reduced for stepfather charged in Maleah Davis' disappearance

Derion Vence has been charged with tampering with evidence related to a human corpse in connection to the disappearance of his stepdaughter Maleah Davis.

HOUSTON — Derion Vence’s bond was reduced to $45,000 as of Monday afternoon, court records show.

Vence's bond was recently set at $1 million when he was arrested Saturday on a charge of tampering with evidence related to a human corpse. 

READ: You ask, we answer: Why was Derion Vence's bond reduced? Will there be more charges?

The arrest is in connection to the disappearance of his 4-year-old stepdaughter Maleah Davis.

Vence is in the Harris County Jail and was expected to appear in court Monday morning, but the hearing was reset to July 10.

Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, was in court Monday with local activist Quanell X. 

Bowens did not say anything to supporters or reporters who were there to witness the hearing.

Earlier on Monday, law enforcement released the last known photo of Maleah. 

The image appears to show the 4-year-old following Vence into an apartment. Police say the photo was taken on April 30.

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 over the weekend. "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. 


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