The father of a missing Houston girl took to social media to share heart-wrenching photos of his daughter amid a nearly two-week-long search for her.
Craig Davis, the biological father of Maleah Davis, posted a series of photos of himself and the 4-year-old child on Instagram, including one of her head resting on his chest in a hospital bed following her head surgery, KRIV reports.
"He's a father. He loved his daughter. His daughter has been ripped away from him," Tamisha Mendoza, Craig Davis' cousin, told the station. "He's devastated."
Photo: Craig Davis/Instagram
Testing confirmed the blood evidence matched the missing girl's DNA, which was taken from her toothbrush.
Vence, who was referred to as Maleah's stepfather, was booked into the Harris County jail on suspicion of "tampering with evidence, namely a corpse" and is currently being held on a $45,000 bond, which was reduced from $1 million on Monday.
Investigators believe more charges may be forthcoming, "including but not limited to the first-degree felony offense of murder."
Vence initially wove an intricate tale of his step daughter's disappearance for investigators, claiming she was abducted by three men while they were on the way to pick up Bowens at Bush Intercontinental Airport around 9 p.m. on May 3.
Police later uncovered multiple discrepancies in Vence's story, including security footage from both his apartment complex and the hospital he supposedly walked to after the "kidnapping" took place. Both tapes dispute his version of the events leading up to and after Maleah's disappearance.
Notably, the missing girl and her two brothers had been removed from their parents' care once before in August 2018 over allegations of abuse after Maleah suffered a serious head injury, officials with state Child Protective Services in Houston told the Associated Press.
Her mother claimed the injury resulted after the girl fell "from a tall chair to a marble table," but doctors were skeptical of the story. The children were returned to the care of Vence and Bowens in February 2019 and CPS caseworkers have been monitoring the home since then.
Maleah has black hair and brown eyes, stands at about 3 feet tall and weighs approximately 30 to 40 pounds. She was last seen wearing a light blue Under Armour jacket, blue jeans and gray Under Armour tennis shoes with pink and white details. Anyone with information on the case is urged to call 713-308-3600.
Photos from the case: