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Houston Police Ask Public For Help To Find Body Of Maleah Davis

Chief Acevedo believes the 4-year-old girl, who has been missing since May 4, is dead.

This undated photo released by the Houston Police Department shows Maleah Davis.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo asked Thursday for help from the public in the case of 4-year-old Maleah Davis, who has been missing since May 4. Acevedo said he believes the little girl is dead.

Derion Vence, who was engaged to Davis' mother and lived with her, reported Maleah's abduction in the Sugar Land area. He told police that a group of men abducted him, Maleah and his 2-year-old son on May 3. Vence said they freed him and the boy, but not Maleah. Investigators later debunked that version of events after Vence’s car was found and a police canine detected the smell of human remains in the vehicle. They also found evidence of blood in the family’s apartment.

Derion Vence

Vence has been charged by Harris County prosecutors with tampering with a human corpse in connection with the girl's disappearance. Prosecutors have said in court documents he could eventually face additional charges, including murder. Vence has a court hearing on July 10.

HPD investigators and Texas Equusearch looked for Davis for several days without success.

Acevedo said he strongly believes that Vence knows where Davis' body is and the evidence indicates she was murdered. "I can sit here and say that we are going to find her alive but I would be lying to you," he said.

The chief pleaded for the public's help because he thinks "somebody knows something, somebody has seen something, and somebody hasn't come forward." Acevedo said that people who want to help investigators should look for spots where the surface seems to be out of place or the place has been "disturbed."

Investigators have also talked to Brittany Bowens, Davis' mother, but she hasn't provided a lead to find the little girl.

Child Protective Services removed Davis and her brothers from the apartment 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.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.

You can watch Chief Acevedo's news conference here:

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