A ceremony to dedicate and rename Red Lake Bridge in Fulton as the “Maleah Davis Memorial Bridge” will be held tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
Local law enforcement sought to have the bridge, which crosses over I-30 at Exit 18 in Fulton, after the remains of 4-year-old Maleah Davis of Houston, TX were located in the ditch along the eastbound on-ramp on May 31 of this year.
Houston Homicide Commander Michael Skillern said that Maleah’s stepfather, Derion Vence, initially gave a story about him, his son and Maleah being kidnapped but investigators doubted his account early on. Skillern said that video evidence they obtained led them to believe that Maleah had been killed and resulted in the arrest of Vence on May 11 for tampering with evidence, specifically Maleah’s body.
Homicide Commander Skillern said that on the morning of Friday, May 31, Houston civil rights advocate Quanell X contacted Houston PD and told them that he spoke with Vence and Vence told him that he had dumped Maleah’s body in Arkansas, near Hope.
Houston Police began contacting law enforcement agencies in the area and notified them they had reason to believe that Maleah’s body was dumped in Hempstead County along I-30 near Hope. The Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, Hope Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game & Fish and FBI began searching along the interstate with the heaviest initial concentration along Exit 30 at Hope. Officers searched the area for about twenty minutes before getting information that a mowing contractor cutting the grass along the I-30 East on-ramp in Fulton had located a black garbage bag that was emitting a foul odor and had what appeared to be blood on it.
On Monday June 3, 2019 the Harris County, Texas Medical Examiner identified the remains found in the trash bag at exit 18 as those of the 4-year-old Maleah Davis.
On June 4, 2019 Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton requested a permit for a roadside sign from the Arkansas Transportation Department in Honor / Memory of Maleah Davis and other missing and exploited children throughout the nation.
The Quorum Court of Hempstead County, Arkansas in a regular meeting June 24, 2019 voted unanimously to support the naming of the Red Lake Road Overpass at Exit 18 in Hempstead County, Arkansas in Memory of 4-Year old Maleah Davis.
On July 24, 2019, The Arkansas Highway Commission passed minute Order 2019-080 to allow the installation of one sign at each end of the overpass, as requested by the County.
Funds for the sign were donated by a Citizen of Hempstead County who wishes to remain anonymous.
Sheriff James Singleton said, “As Sheriff of Hempstead County, I would like to invite all who would like to show support or participated in the search for Maleah, her family, the officers who had to work the scene and anyone who may way want to let the world know that we, the law enforcement officers of Hempstead County will never forget May 31, 2019 and will always think of Maleah as Our Little Angel.”