Man sentenced to 40 years in prison after child found dead in Arkansas

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Maleah Davis

HOUSTON — A Texas man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for charges related to the death of a 4-year-old girl who went missing for several weeks before her remains were found in Arkansas.

Maleah Davis was reported missing in May 2019. Derion Vence, the boyfriend of Maleah’s mother, initially told police the Houston girl had been kidnapped by assailants who released him and his 2-year-old son.

Police say Vence’s story kept changing and didn’t add up. Authorities arrested Vence and he later told them he had dumped the girl’s remains close to a highway in Arkansas.

During a court hearing Thursday, the 28-year-old Vence pleaded guilty to tampering with a corpse and injury to a child.

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