Police arrest stepdad in disappearance of Houston girl, 4

Maleah Davis

The man who reported last weekend that 4-year-old Maleah Davis had been abducted was arrested near Houston in connection with her disappearance and police said they found her blood in his apartment. She was not seen walking out. Soto said she remembers clearly not noticing the bruise on Vence's head the same night Maleah was reported missing.

CNN has reached out to Vence several times this week, but didn't receive a reply. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

Tampering with a human corpse is a second-degree felony in Texas. Vence, authorities said, claimed that the three men made remarks about Maleah's appearance before knocking him unconscious and taking them in a blue Chevrolet truck. Houston police said the laundry basket that Vence was caught on camera carrying from his apartment was found in the trunk of the Nissan, along with a gas can.

Bowens says she left the child with Vence when she went to see her father, who was ill. If convicted, he faces between two to 20 years in prison. When he got out of the auto, he said that a blue pickup truck pulled up behind him and two men got out, police said during a news conference on May 5.

Child Protective Services (CPS) confirmed that Maleah, 4, and her two brothers, 5 and 1, were removed from their mother Brittany Bowen's care in August 2018 by CPS.

Police said Vence told investigators that he was driving the auto to the airport to pick up Maleah's mother, Brittany Bowens, Friday night when he pulled over to check if it had a flat tire.

Bowens told CNN's Nick Valencia on Friday she doesn't believe Vence and that he bears some responsibility for the girl's disappearance.

The 26-year-old had reported that his silver Nissan Altima was taken in the abduction but surveillance video showed that vehicle was used to drop Vence off later at a hospital, where he first reported the abduction, police said in a news release. His next court date is Monday.

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"Each time we have tried to talk to him or have him come in, we have been unsuccessful", Houston Police Department Homicide Detective Kenneth Fregia told local station KHOU earlier this week.

Cadaver dogs were taken to Vence's vehicle and other vehicles in the parking lot. The laundry basket from the surveillance image (not yet seen at the time) was found in the trunk of the auto along with a gas can.

In addition to the conflicting stories about his auto, blood evidence obtained from the apartment Vence shares with Maleah's mother is "consistent" with DNA taken from Maleah's toothbrush, the documents state.

Testing subsequently linked the blood sample to Maleah.

Sotos' surveillance camera caught Vence briefly walking over to his vehicle alone on the day Maleah's mother had flown out of state.

Vence was later seen coming out of his apartment with a full laundry basket.

Vence returned a few minutes later, the documents say.

On the day of the alleged kidnapping, Vence told Bowen he had been cleaning up the apartment with bleach.

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