Medical Examiner Confirms Remains Found In Arkansas Are Those Of Maleah Davis

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences says the cause and manner of death are pending.

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

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has positively identified the remains found last Friday in Arkansas are those of 4-year-old Maleah Davis, spokeswoman Michele Arnold told News 88.7 on Monday morning.

Derion Vence.

Davis had been missing since May 4 and her disappearance was covered by national news outlets. Derion Vence, who was engaged to Davis' mother, reported her abduction that day.

Authorities found the remains inside a garbage bag located near Fulton, about 330 miles from Houston, the Houston Chronicle reported. The discovery occurred after Vence allegedly confessed the location to Houston community activist Quanell X. Vence is currently in the Harris County jail under a charge of tampering with a human corpse.

Houston Police investigators and members of the search and rescue team Texas Equusearch traveled to Arkansas on Friday afternoon to retrieve the remains. Staff with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences worked during the weekend to examine them.

Arnold said the cause and manner of death are pending.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a tweet the police department will work with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to ensure the person or persons responsible for Davis death and attempted cover-up of her death “are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Later on Monday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a news release that his heart was “heavy” because of the confirmation by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. Turner added that authorities must continue investigating the “horrific circumstances” that lead to Davis’ death.

The mayor approved that on Sunday, June 9, Houston City Hall’s light will turn pink, which was Maleah’s favorite color.

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