Maleah Davis Died When She Hit Her Head, Caregiver Reportedly Told Fellow Inmate

June 17, 2019 Updated: June 17, 2019

A Texas inmate says that the caregiver of 4-year-old Maleah Davis, whose remains were found in Arkansas, told him that the girl died when she hit her head.

David Chalfant is housed on the same floor as Derion Vence in the Harris County Jail. Vence was Maleah’s primary caregiver and described by police as her stepfather, though the girl’s mother later said he was her ex-fiance.

Chalfant, who was convicted of armed robbery, told KTRK that Vence described how Maleah died.

At first, the inmate said, Vence told him, “She died from the flu in her sleep.”

maleah davis 4 memorial
Maleah Davis in file photos. (Houston Police Dept)

“I told him, ‘Nobody’s going to believe that. There are pictures of her walking behind you. She wasn’t sick,'” Chalfant said.

“I asked him, ‘Why did you hide the body?’ and he said he panicked because of the time she had fractured her skull before,” Chalfant explained. “He said she was sitting on his lap and he tossed her off and she hit her head.”

Chalfant said that he passed on the information he gleaned from the suspect to the authorities.

Chalfant says he gave police information before Quanell X, a community activist widely credited in local media reports with passing along crucial information to the police. He claimed that authorities didn’t want to give the reward money to him.

Family Member Knew Maleah Davis Was Dead: Quanell X

Quanell X said earlier this month that he received information that a family member of Vence knew Maleah was dead.

Vence reportedly told the community activist that he had dumped the body but claimed Maleah’s death was accidental.

Quanell X told KTRK that he believes Vence “snapped” under the burden of taking care of Maleah and two other children most of the time.

“He was angry with Brittany and he was very agitated with Brittany … saying that she was giving a ring back to him that drove him over the edge,” Quanell X said.

He said that Vence told him he put Maleah’s body in a trash bag—which he was seen carrying in a laundry basket shortly before she was reported missing—and took the bag in his car to Arkansas.

maleah-davis-surveillance-footage-3-exlarge-169
Surveillance footage captured Derion Vence walking out of his apartment with a blue laundry basket. Vence was later arrested for tampering with evidence. (CNN)

The activist later said that he spoke to a family member that knew about what happened.

“I believe that there is one family member of Derion … that he knew where the body was placed, and that he helped hide Derion out from authorities so they couldn’t speak to him. And I believe he knew about the whereabouts of where Maleah was,” Quanell X told Fox 26.

He did not name the family member.

Quanell X said that he thinks Maleah’s mother Brittany Bowens should be charged because of her alleged knowledge of her daughter’s death.

“I believe that Derion has to be charged with murder,” he said. “He has to be charged with taking the life of young Maleah and held absolutely accountable for that. This man had no remorse. None whatsoever when I sat down and talked to him. I believe that Brittany has to be held accountable also. Brittany helped cover up abuse and I think she has to look at the bigger picture. Your child lost her life because as a mother you failed to protect that baby.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
Recommended