38.3 F
Fort Worth
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Government Prosecutor: Dogs detected decomposition in missing girl case

Prosecutor: Dogs detected decomposition in missing girl case

Other News

Who killed Sweden’s prime minister? 1986 assassination of Olof Palme is finally solved – maybe

Andrew Nestingen, University of Washington It took 34 years,...

Fort Worth Police seeking man who robbed diners on Southside restaurant patio

Fort Worth Police are seeking a man who robbed diners at an outdoor patio on Hemphill Street on the city's Southside.

Authorities find 2 abducted girls after 2 boys are killed

By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH The Associated PressMISSION, Kan. (AP) — Authorities found two girls who were abducted from a Kansas home where two...

Second whistleblower fired from Texas attorney general’s office after accusing Ken Paxton of bribery

By Emma Platoff, The Texas Tribune Oct. 22, 2020 "Second whistleblower fired from Texas...

HOUSTON (AP) — Trained dogs detected the scent of human decomposition in the vehicle of a man arrested in connection with the disappearance of a 4-year-old Texas girl, according to a prosecutor.

Derion Vence, 26, remained jailed Sunday on a $1 million bond after being arrested a day earlier on a charge of tampering with evidence, specifically a human corpse. His next court appearance is set for Monday.

Houston police said investigators have not found Maleah Davis and the investigation is continuing. Authorities have declined to say whether they believe Vence killed Maleah. But prosecutors said in court documents filed Saturday that Vence could face additional charges, including murder.

The investigation began after Vence told police that men in a truck on May 4 had abducted him, Maleah and his 2-year-old son a day earlier, but had freed him and the boy. Vence told investigators he was left in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land and walked to a hospital, where he reported the girl’s abduction.

Sugar Land police, who initially interviewed him, said his story kept changing and didn’t add up.

Vence, who had lived with Maleah and her mother, reported that his silver Nissan Altima was taken in the abduction, but surveillance video showed that vehicle was used to drop Vence off at the hospital. Police found the car Thursday.

Dogs trained to find cadavers reacted to the trunk of the car, Pat Stayton, a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, said at Vence’s probable cause court hearing Saturday night.

Surveillance video from a neighbor showed Vence carrying a large, blue laundry basket with a large trash bag from his apartment on May 3, Stayton said. Vence returned three minutes later without the basket and later he was seen leaving the apartment with cleaning supplies, including bleach.

In the silver Nissan, police found a laundry basket that looked like the one Vence took out of his apartment, Stayton said.

“Both of the dogs reacted to the trunk of the silver Nissan that the defendant had driven and that the blue laundry basket was recovered from, indicating that the dogs were responding to the scent of human decomposition in the vehicle,” Stayton said.

Investigators also found blood at the apartment, both in the hallway leading to the bathroom and on surfaces inside the bathroom, Stayton said.

At Saturday night’s hearing, Vence said he planned to hire a defense attorney.

Rodney Brown, an attorney appointed to represent Vence only for Saturday’s hearing, had asked a magistrate judge to set bond at $5,000, saying Vence was a low flight risk and had lived in Houston most of his life.

Stayton argued that Vence was a flight risk and there was “evidence of deception on the part of the defendant with regard to information he gave to police.”

Police have described Vence as Maleah’s stepfather, but Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, said through a spokesman that Vence is her former fiance. Quanell X, a local civil rights activist who spoke to reporters on Bowens’ behalf on Friday, also said that Vence had abused Maleah.

Child Protective Services removed Maleah and her brothers from the home Vence and Bowens shared in August after the girl suffered a head wound, but the children were returned in February, according to an agency spokeswoman.

___

Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

Latest News

Barrett sworn in at Supreme Court as issues important to Trump await

By MARK SHERMAN Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Amy Coney Barrett was formally sworn in Tuesday as the Supreme...

As Ken Paxton battles scandal, Land Commissioner George P. Bush considering a 2022 run for attorney general

By Emma Platoff and Cassandra Pollock, The Texas Tribune Oct. 26, 2020 "As Ken...

Trey Martinez Fischer becomes second Democrat to announce run for speaker of the Texas House

By Cassandra Pollock, The Texas Tribune Oct. 26, 2020 "Trey Martinez Fischer becomes second...

U.S. Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to Supreme Court, with Texans Cornyn and Cruz in favor

By Abby Livingston, The Texas Tribune Oct. 26, 2020 "U.S. Senate confirms Amy Coney...

Barrett confirmation vote set for tonight

By LISA MASCARO  AP Congressional Correspondent WASHINGTON (AP) — Overpowering Democratic opposition, Senate Republicans are set to confirm Amy...