SUGAR LAND, Texas (FOX 26) - Walking through a dense wooded area at Cullinan Park off Highway 6 in Sugar Land, volunteer search efforts for Maleah Davis lead by John Marsden continued Tuesday.
"You never know what you’re looking for until you see it. I don’t care how trained you are. You’re walking in the jungle and bushes and trees. You might step in something right now that’s a clue, you never know," Marsden said.
Equipped with rainboots and machetes, dozens of people have been dedicating up to 10 hours a day, zeroing in on patches all around Houston for 4-year-old Maleah Davis-- who's been missing since May 3.
"We've been to Katy, up and down Alief. We’ve searched every park in Alief, every bayou. We’ve been to some parts of Sugar Land, Missouri City, Richmond. We’ve been to a lot of different places looking, but so far, there’s nothing," Marsden said.
It was the same unsuccessful story in Rosharon, where Texas Equusearch and Brazoria County Sheriff’s deputies spent the afternoon canvassing a deserted haunted house off Highway 288.
"All we look for is something that doesn’t quite fit in. We look for clothing, shoes,” said Jack Boggess with Texas Equusearch.
Sheriff’s officials said a neighbor called investigators to report an odd smell, but turns out, the scent came from a dead animal.
Texas Equusearch said Maleah’s stepfather, Derion Vence, who has now been charged in connection with her disappearance, may have worked a mail route in Rosharon with the US Postal Service. A representative for USPS confirms Vence was an employed carrier from June 2017 to August 2018.
As day turns into night, the search efforts halt for yet another day.
Family members tell FOX 26 Maleah’s biological father, Craig Davis, has been waiting anxiously for his daughter to turn up. Davis posted an emotional tribute to Maleah on Instagram Tuesday.
Derion Vence is currently being held at the Harris County Jail on a $45,000 bond.
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- New search locations after conflicting stories from Maleah Davis' stepfather