A Texas grand jury reviewing the death of a 4-year-old girl has reported that her mother's ex-fiance restricted her airway with an unknown object.
The allegation comes in a superseding indictment against Derion Vence in the death of Maleah Davis. He has been charged with serious injury to a child, an offense that could carry a life sentence. He also is charged with corpse tampering and has remained in the Harris County Jail since his May arrest. Bonds total $90,000.
Maleah was missing for several weeks before her remains were found by an Arkansas highway in May. Vence had told police she had been kidnapped by assailants who released him and his 2-year-old son. Court documents had also previously accused Vence of striking the girl with a blunt object.
Vence reported the girl missing in early May, saying she'd been abducted after he pulled over on a Houston highway. Police later said the story didn't add up.
Surveillance video from a neighbor showed Vence carrying a large, blue laundry basket with a large trash bag from his apartment on May 3, said Pat Stayton, a prosecutor with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Vence returned three minutes later without the basket and later he was seen leaving the apartment with cleaning supplies, including bleach.
Investigators said they found blood in the family's apartment that matched the girl's DNA.