Police: Man says 4-year-old stepdaughter abducted in Houston

Sgt. Mark Holbrook gives an update about Maleah Davis, a four-year-old girl missing since Saturday night, during a news conference at the Houston Police Department headquarters, Sunday, May 5, 2019. (Annie Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police were searching Monday for a 4-year-old girl whose stepfather said she was abducted by men who let him and his 2-year-old son go free.

Police said Darion Vence reported his stepdaughter, Maleah Davis, missing on Saturday night, telling investigators that men in a pickup truck abducted him and the two children Friday evening. He told police that after one of the men hit him, he was in and out of consciousness for almost 24 hours after the abduction.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert on Sunday morning. Sgt. Mark Holbrook said at a news conference later Sunday that they were trying to figure out “what story is true, what really happened.”

“We don’t know. I just don’t know and I don’t want to speculate,” Holbrook said.
At the request of police, a local group on Monday searched an area near where Vence said the abduction happened after he pulled to the side of a road.

Holbrook said that Vence told authorities he was driving to George Bush Intercontinental Airport around 9 p.m. Friday to pick up the girl’s mother when he heard a popping sound that made him think his tire was flat. Vence said that after he veered to the side of the road to check it, men in a pickup truck pulled up behind him.

Vence told police that one of the men commented that Maleah looked “very nice” and “very sweet” and that another of the men hit him. He told police he briefly regained consciousness to find that he and the children were in the men’s truck.

Vence said when he came to around 6 p.m. Saturday he and the boy were no longer in the pickup but were near a highway, according to police. He said he then started walking to a hospital, arriving there around 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., and reporting the girl missing.

Holbrook said the vehicle Vence was driving is missing. He said a traffic camera showed it driving through an intersection in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land around 3 p.m. Saturday.

“I realize there’s a lot of blanks in that story, but we’re hoping the public can fill in the blanks,” Holbrook said.

According to police, the girl has previously undergone brain surgeries.

“She’s needed a lot of care and she was sick this week, too,” Holbrook said.

The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.