(HOUSTON) — Remains found in Arkansas are confirmed to belong to 4-year-old Maleah Davis, a Houston girl who had been missing for one month, officials with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Scientists said Monday.
The cause and manner of her death are pending.
Community activist Quanell X said Maleah’s mother’s ex-fiance, Derion Vence, confessed to dumping the 4-year-old’s body in Arkansas, ABC Houston station KTRK reported on Friday.
Houston detectives then rushed to Arkansas, where remains were found in a garbage bag on Friday, said police.
The remains could not be immediately identified, pending an autopsy.
Maleah, whose disappearance captured the attention of the nation, was reported missing on May 4.
Vence, who was caring for Maleah while her mother was away, had told police the little girl was abducted by three men, including one who knocked him out during a carjacking, but Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that detectives didn’t believe the story.
Investigators found the family’s car in Missouri City, Texas, and authorities said cadaver-sniffing dogs detected the scent of human remains inside.
Vence was arrested on May 11 and charged with tampering with evidence, said police.
“Maleah was everyone’s child … in this city,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Friday. “The sadness surrounding Maleah Davis’ disappearance has captured the hearts of our city and our nation.”
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