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Stepfather: Men Knocked Me Unconscious for 24 Hours, Took Girl

Maleah Davis was reported missing over the weekend in Texas
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2019 4:40 PM CDT
This undated photo released by the Houston Police Department shows Maleah Davis.   (Houston Police Department via AP)
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(Newser) – Maleah Davis, 4, was removed from her home along with her two brothers last August after allegations of physical abuse and a head injury Maleah had suffered. In February, a judge ordered the siblings returned to their home, with CPS maintaining temporary conservatorship and visiting the home at least once per month. On Saturday, Maleah went missing, and her stepfather was just named a person of interest in the case, per Click2Houston. Previously, a Houston police sergeant told CNN the stepfather's account of what happened had "a lot of blanks" and authorities were hoping the public would help "fill in the blanks" as the search for the girl continues. Her stepfather, Derion Vence, claims three Hispanic males abducted Maleah, and police are searching for the blue Chevy pickup truck Vence says they were driving as well as Maleah's mother's own missing silver Nissan Altima.

Vence says he was driving that Altima on Friday night, headed to the airport to pick up Maleah's mother with his son (variously reported as 1 or 2) and Maleah in tow. He heard a popping sound and pulled over to make sure the tires were OK, and that's when he says the truck with the men inside pulled up behind the family and two men got out. One said Maleah looked "very nice, ... very sweet," Vence says, and the other hit Vence, knocking him unconscious. He says he woke up at one point and was in the truck with the kids and the three men, but was in and out of consciousness until 6pm Saturday, at which point he says he woke up on the side of the highway with just his son by his side. He walked to a hospital to get treatment for his own injuries and reported Maleah missing. The girl's mother and grandmother have pleaded for the girl's safe return, NBC News reports. Police are asking anyone with information to call 713-308-3600. (Read more missing child stories.)

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