Houston Police are searching for a 4-year-old girl who recently had brain surgery and who was reported kidnapped by her stepfather—who said he was ambushed, beaten, and then dumped on the side of a highway with his 1-year-old son.
Sgt. Mark Holbrook said “there are a lot of blanks in that story” because the stepfather said he was in and out of consciousness for nearly 24 hours and doesn’t remember most of what happened.
Darion Vence, 26, told detectives that he was driving to the airport with stepdaughter Maleah Davis and his son Kourtland to pick up their mother arriving on a flight from Massachusetts, when he heard a “popping sound.”
Thinking he might have a flat tire, he pulled over and got out of the car, Vence told police. He said two men in a blue pickup truck rolled up and while one was making comments about Maleah, the other knocked him out, Holbrook said.
When he opened his eyes, he was in the back of the truck with the two children and three men, he said.
“Darion loses consciousness… he’s in and out of consciousness… he really does not know where he is until 6 p.m. Saturday when he comes to down on Highway 6 in Sugar Land,” the sergeant said.
Maleah was gone, but Kourtland was with him, Vence told cops. He said he walked around asking for help and then trekked on foot to the hospital, where he reported the little girl missing.
Houston cops put out an Amber Alert for Maleah, who has undergone numerous brain surgeries, including one last month. They also released photos of the type of truck Vence described and the silver car Vence was driving—which was caught on a traffic camera around 2:45 p.m. but has not been spotted since.
Maleah’s mother was in Massachusetts, attending her father’s funeral, family members said. When she got off the plane and Vence was not there to pick her up, she called her own mother, Brenda Bowens, to come get her and did not report him or the children missing.
“I can’t even imagine anybody going through what my family is going through,” Bowens told the Houston Chronicle. “It’s unbelievable.”
Holbrook said police have not yet found any video or witnesses to corroborate Vence’s account of what happened. He was treated and released from the hospital.
“Maybe somebody saw him. Maybe he was walking around in a daze. Maybe someone saw him doing something. I’d love to know anything about that,” Holbrook said.
Bowens said the family is worried sick.
“If anybody hurt my grandchild or they took my grandchild, I want them to be punished the way they are supposed to be because she was the sweetest little girl,” she told the Chronicle. “I miss her terribly.”