Texas man Derion Marquise Vence, 27, was indicted Thursday in the death of 4-year-old Maleah Davis, the daughter of his ex-fiancée. Social media users often suggest that he killed her, but what prosecutors charge is a different from what the public may believe. The Harris County grand jury only indicted him in his existing charge of tampering with evidence, according The Houston Chronicle. The status quo remains: Prosecutors have not presented a murder case.
District Attorney Kim Ogg reportedly said, however, that they would make a decision on other charges after reviewing the final autopsy report. A medical examiner determined in June that Davis died by “homicidal violence.”
Vence’s attorney of record Dorian Claude Cotlar isn’t giving interviews or providing comment on the case, a representative told Law&Crime.
The defendant faced suspicion soon after Davis was declared missing in May. According to police, he claimed that he was taking his toddler son and Davis in a Nissan Altima to meet the girl’s mother at the airport because she was returning from being with her dying father, but on the way there, the three were kidnapped by Hispanic males. Vence allegedly claimed of being aware of being in the back of a truck, and finally coming to the next day. His son was there, but Davis was gone, he said.
Cops later accused the defendant of lying to them. They claimed he hid the girl’s dead body. Investigators said they found blood at his apartment. Authorities turned up the Nissan Altima in Missouri City, Texas. They said there was a laundry basket in the trunk with a gas can. Officers said that Vence was seen carrying that laundry basket from his apartment. It had been full.
Davis’s body was reportedly found abandoned in a plastic bag in Arkansas. The case became even more complicated because lawn mowers had run over her remains.
[Mugshot via Harris County]