The stepfather of a missing 4-year-old was arrested and charged in the disappearance of Meleah Davis when trained dogs smelled the scent of human remains in his car.

As previously reported by Dearly, police discovered physical evidence in connection with Davis’ abduction, over the weekend blood was found in Derion Vence’s apartment, reports KXXV.

Detectives said blood evidence linked to Davis was found throughout his Houston residence.

A neighbor also shared surveillance video with authorities that captured Vence carrying a large laundry basket with a large trash bag on May 3 from his apartment.

Pat Stayton, Harris County District Prosecutor, said:

“Both of the dogs reacted to the trunk of the silver Nissan that the defendant had driven and that the blue laundry basket was recovered from, indicating that the dogs were responding to the scent of human decomposition in the vehicle.”

According to the prosecutor, Vence returned minutes later without the basket and was shown leaving the apartment with bleach and other cleaning supplies. He was arrested Saturday evening on charges of tampering with a human corpse.

The child’s stepfather was also caught reporting false claims to police.

WGN9 reports, Vence originally told investigators that his silver Nissan Altima was taken in the alleged kidnapping but surveillance video showed the car was used to drop Vence off at the hospital where he reported the abduction.

Houston police spokesman Kese Smith said:

“His story turned out not to be the case, including the fact that there was that blood evidence in the apartment linked to Maleah.”

Smith said, at this point, murder charges have not been filed against Vence, who is currently being held on a $999,999 bond.

There is still no sign of Meleah Davis.

However, police said the blood in Vence’s apartment matches the DNA from Davis’ toothbrush, reports KHOU.

Vence was also the last person to see the girl.

Watch the video below:

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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