The Houston father of missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis posted emotional images of his daughter to Instagram.
According to KRIV, Craig Davis, Maleah’s biological father, shared several photos of the child, including one image taken after she had multiple brain surgeries.
In August 2018, the girl and her two brothers were removed from the home of their mother, Brittany Bowens, and her then-fiance, Derion Vence, after Maleah suffered a serious head injury, officials with state Child Protective Services in Houston told the Associated Press.
Her mother claimed the injury resulted after the girl fell "from a tall chair to a marble table," but doctors found her injuries to be inconsistent with the story. The children were returned to the care of Vence and Bowens in February 2019.
Although Davis has been too emotional to speak to the press, his cousin Tamisha Mendoza spoke on his behalf and said he’s absolutely devastated.
"He's a father. He loved his daughter. His daughter has been ripped away from him," Mendoza told the station. "He's devastated."
The search for the 4-year-old has been suspended until rescue teams can find a better area target. This week, Texas EquuSearch searched the old mail route of suspect Vence, who once said he’d know plenty of places to hide a body. However, when the search came up empty, the team decided to halt the search and re-evaluate, reported KTRK.
Vence was arrested Saturday after blood matching the girl’s DNA was found in his apartment bathroom and police K-9s detected traces of human decomposition in his trunk.
Vence was charged with tampering with evidence, namely a corpse, and is currently being held on a $45,000 bond.
Investigators believe additional charges may be forthcoming, "including but not limited to the first-degree felony offense of murder,” reported KRIV.
Anyone with information on the case is urged to call 713-308-3600.