I’ve never been a fan of the news because over the years it seems like every story is becoming more and more depressing. I enjoyed little segments of the weather or sports but since the emergence of smartphones, I can see it all with 2 clicks. In my field of work I see, hear and deal with enough traumatizing incidents so when you look at it from that standpoint the news has only increased the heartbreaking feels of what I deal with hands on each day. Severe physical abuse, teenage runaways, drug-infested newborns, sex trafficking- I see it all and sadly nothing surprises me anymore. You put on your investigator hat and learn several cases are full of side-eyes and lies.
The case with little Maleah started around April 30, 2019. When I started paying attention to TV clips and heard about the case it hit differently. Houston, TX. It was right at home. But from the moment I heard snippets of what occurred I instantly knew something didn’t add up with Derion Vence and the kidnapping (clue 1), the mother ironically being away in another state for a funeral (clue 2) and the car (clue 3). First 48 is one of my favorite shows and in watching those detectives you’ll see it’s only a matter of time before forensic evidence or an eye-witness reveals the truth. Technology in this day and age is both impressive and scary and it’s only so much a person can get away with. I assumed from the jump Vence committed the gruesome crime and it would only be a matter of time before he disclosed where the body was. Once the video footage was released and he was arrested and charged with ‘tampering with evidence relating to a human corpse’ it would only be a matter of time before he disclosed other details. The heat was on and time was ticking. Then boom, his bond went from 1mil to 45K in 2 days? What?? I started doing all types of internet research trying to figure out how/why his bond was lowered, how bonds are set, who is this Judge, etc. I didn’t understand but I stopped and put my thinking cap on. I thought the only way they could’ve lowered his bond was because there’s more details in the case. He talked! He must’ve given his attorney or someone details that his hands weren’t the only ones in the pot! As more of the nation tunes in, eyes are starting to point towards the mother.
According to KHOU.com news articles, Maleah’s mother had history with CPS a number of times. Details discussed multiple emergency room visits, unexplained injuries and brain surgery. Pictures surfaced of Maleah’s bruised and swollen face as she slept in her father’s arms, Craig Davis. She was returned back home months after with the Judge’s approval. I’m sure we all had those burning questions:
-Where was the biological father?
-Was there a family monitor or other relatives?
-What are the details of the mother’s funeral trip?
-Who is the Judge?
-When was Maleah last seen and what did she disclose?
…And many more questions. I’ve also come across comments about it being CPS’ fault that little Maleah was placed back with her mother, how the system failed her, etc. If you’re familiar in any way with how the system works when CPS becomes involved LEGALLY, there is only so much power CPS has. A lot of decisions are determined by CPS’ testimony, the courts and attorney’s but the FINAL decision is rendered by the Judge. Some years ago there was a media case involving a sibling group where the youngest had been physically abused by the parents. Over the next 8 months or so they appeared to make some progress so per the Judge’s order the children were returned back home. Shortly after the youngest child ended up deceased and the other sibling was removed, again. All fingers pointed towards the parents. The news article included the Judge’s name as the responsible party for sending the child back home. The Judge was very remorseful and since that time any physical abuse cases that involved a child returning back home to their parents were given extra precautionary measures. Not to bunch all Judge’s together because they are their own decision-makers but we all make mistakes. And in this case with little Maleah I can’t help but think of hurt and heartbreak many of the parties involved are feeling.
Breaking news emerged that the step-father revealed he dumped Maleah’s body bag off the road in Fulton, Arkansas. From Houston, that’s about a 5 hour drive going north on 59. On May 10, Quanell X came out with a statement stating “[Brittany Bowens] helped [Derion Vence] shield the truth about Maleah from doctors”. X continued that the mother called off the engagement prior to leaving for Massachusetts for her father’s funeral and that may have caused Vence to snap. On May 28, X withdraws from representing the mother. 2 days later Vence’s attorney also withdraws. On May 31, X announces that little Maleah is deceased and details his conversation with Vence in jail. Our minds now knew what our hearts had been feeling. Little Maleah was gone.
From a legal standpoint, I question Quanell’s ability to “represent” the mother without having the appropriate qualifications of any other attorney. However, I applaud him for not only speaking to Vence but releasing himself from the mother’s case and disclosing locating information on the whereabouts of Maleah’s body. I’m unaware if the reward money was given to Quanell X for disclosing crucial information or if he’s allowed that but I do wonder if Quanell was used as a pawn to help HPD by speaking with Vence? When X agreed to represent the mother, did he know all details? We all have many questions as to how did this happen, what was the mother thinking, where was the biological father, etc. And honestly, some of those questions may go unanswered. I appreciate Quanell X for not prolonging the search any longer and getting to the bottom of it. After he withdrew from the mother’s case he hit us with a hard truth, “you have women that desire to be loved so bad, even to protect a rotten man”. It makes you question if mental illness played a part, which is oftentimes a topic that we ignore. Maleah’s case is a true testament that things like this happen more often than we think and it could easily be your family or someone you know. This case is far from over as bits and pieces are still being disclosed. Now the main question is what part can YOU play in ensuring your little niece, neighbor or student is protected at all costs?
Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, announced that City Hall will turn its lights pink on June 9 to honor the life of 4-year-old Maleah Davis as pink was her favorite color. “Just as the light will shine in her memory, we must continue to shine a light on the horrific circumstances that lead to her death and make a promise to protect all children in our community.” As we wear shades of pink Maleah’s honor on this beautiful Sunday, let’s keep all her loved ones, communities and other innocent souls uplifted in prayer. Until next time– Corrita 💕
*All detailed information pertaining to this post came only from http://www.KHOU.com news articles. Thank you.