More details have emerged on missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis whose stepfather said she was abducted by three men who knocked him out when he pulled over to check a flat tire.
Houston police issued an Amber missing person’s alert on May 5, after her father Darion Vence told them he and his two children had been abducted on May 3.
According to police, Vence said he woke up in the back of his assailants’ pick-up with his two children, and drifted in and out of consciousness until he found himself on the side of a Texas highway with his toddler son, but with his 4-year-old stepdaughter missing.
Maleah has had several brain surgeries, Sergeant Mark Holbrook confirmed with reporters at a news conference on May 5, including one that was performed last month.
“She needs a lot of care and she was sick this week, too,” he said.
Police later issued a photograph of Vence showing a mark on his forehead, hoping that people may recognize him since he cannot recollect almost 24 hours.
He is not considered a person of interest in the case by police, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Police have released images of a likeness of the suspected kidnapping vehicle—a blue, crew-cab Chevy truck.
According to Holbrook, Vence was heading to the Intercontinental Airport in Houston with his two children to pick up the girl’s mother when he pulled over on U.S. 59.
“He hears a popping noise like he has a flat tire,” Holbrook told reporters.
Three men got out of the blue Chevy truck, and two began to engage with him.
“One of them makes a comment saying, ‘Maleah looks very nice, looks very sweet,'” Holbrook said. “The other male hits Darion [Vence] in the head.”
It was around 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 3.
Media Briefing on Investigation into Missing Child Maleah Davis https://t.co/ce9ZdFrWUZ
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) May 5, 2019
According to Holbrook, Vence says he woke briefly to find himself in the back of the truck with the three men and his two children, before passing out again.
Vence’s next recollection is finding himself on Highway 6 in Sugar Land, according to police, at around 6 p.m, with his 2-year-old son Kourtland. He said the three men had gone with Maleah.
According to Holbrook, he spent around four hours walking the highway—because no one came to his aid—until he eventually went to the Houston Methodist Hospital between 10 and 11 p.m. and then reported Maleah as missing.
“I realize there’s a lot of blanks in that story, but we’re hoping that the public fill in the blanks,” Holbrook said.
The girl’s mother waited for Vence at the airport, according to police, but when they failed to show up they did not report him missing until the following morning.
Meanwhile Vence’s own car, a silver 2011 Nissan Altima which he says was left on the highway, has been reported as stolen.
Maleah is described as having black hair and brown eyes, standing approximately 3 feet tall and weighing 30-40 pounds. She was last seen wearing a light blue Under Armor jacket, blue jeans, and gray Under Armor tennis shoes with pink and white details.
This article was updated to correct the age of Maleah Davis, which was previously incorrectly stated as 5.