Remains found in Arkansas identified as Maleah Davis

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Houston police detectives along with a search and rescue team headed to Arkansas on Friday to look for missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis after the man who had been watching her allegedly confessed to dumping her body. (COURTESY: Houston police via CNN)

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HOUSTON, Texas — The remains of a child found in Arkansas last week are those of a missing 4-year-old Texas girl, Maleah Davis, a medical examiner said Monday.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said it had positively identified the remains, which were flown to Texas from Arkansas, where they had been found near a freeway outside the town of Hope.

Derion Vence, the man who had been arrested in connection with Maleah’s disappearance, told a community activist he had disposed of her body there.

The institute of forensic sciences says the cause and manner of her death are not yet determined.

Vence, the ex-fiance of Maleah’s mother, remains jailed on a charge of tampering with evidence.

Vence, 27, had claimed he, Maleah and his 2-year-old son were abducted on May 4 by a group of men in a truck. He said he and his son were freed the next day but the kidnappers kept Maleah and his silver Nissan Altima. Police said Vence’s story kept changing and didn’t add up.

Police arrested Vence and charged him with tampering with evidence, specifically a human corpse. He remains jailed on a $40,000 bond.

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