HOUSTON (FOX 26) - An inmate apparently told Houston police where Maleah Davis’s body was days before Quanell X visited Derion Vence in jail and got him to confess.
Tim Miller, who lead Texas Equusearch to the discovery of Maleah’s body in Arkansas, said he doubts that HPD sat on an alleged tip about the 4-year-old’s whereabouts for several days and did nothing.
“I talked to Sgt. Holbrook every day. If Sgt. Holbrook had known a couple days prior, he would’ve said hold on we’re kinda looking at something there," he said. “Number one, Derion doesn’t have any credibility. We knew that from the minute this happened by what he tried to convince us with his abduction story. We don’t know who this other inmate is, but a lot of times, these inmates, they just don’t have a lot of credibility neither."
Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies say 50-year-old David Chalfant was convicted of aggravated robbery and was being held in an administrative separation jail cell.
Vence is charged with tampering with physical evidence of a human corpse.
The two were apparently just a few jails cells apart. Vence allegedly told Chalfant where he dumped Maleah’s body days before he confessed to Quanell.
“We could’ve taken 50 people and searched where he said and Maleah wouldn’t have been there. Would we have went up to the next exit? I probably doubt that we would have cause he specifically said, ‘this is where I dropped her off,’” Miller said.
Miller said Maleah’s remains were ultimately uncovered in Fulton, several miles away from Hope, Arkansas where Vence said he’d dumped his 4-year-old stepdaughter.
“It wasn’t at the place that Derion said, so if we had flown up there without a mower going over it, and it wouldn’t have been at the exit that he said, then we would’ve thought well this is another Derion story,” Miller said.
Miller said investigators receive multiple tips every day, especially on high profile cases like this. But, he says some things have to be taken with a grain of salt.
“If we followed every lead every criminal had, we wouldn’t have time to do anything else,” Miller said.
Houston police would not comment as a spokesperson said this is an ongoing investigation.