The vehicle, a silver Nissan Altima, was found Thursday morning in the parking of a shopping mall in Missouri City, Texas, just outside of Sugar Land. Maleah was not in the car, said Tim Miller, the director of Texas EquuSearch, a search and rescue organization.
An employee of a taxi cab company spotted the car in the parking lot and called police. Ken Fregia, a homicide detective with the Houston Police Department, said the car’s condition appears normal, there’s no visible blood or obvious signs that something may have happened inside.
The vehicle will be taken to the Houston Police Department for further forensic tests while detectives look for surveillance video from the shopping mall and nearby Walmart store.
Maleah’s stepfather, Darion Vence, reported on Saturday that he was on the way to the airport with Maleah and his 1-year-old son to pick up Maleah’s mother from the airport. On the way, he pulled over to investigate a “popping noise,” he told police, and was knocked unconscious by three strangers who pulled up in a blue pickup truck.
When he woke up a day later, Maleah was gone.
The location the car was found is about 4-5 miles away from where Vence said he woke up.
Police had been searching for the car and their only lead had been an image captured by a traffic camera that showed the Altima driving through an intersection in Sugar Land just before 3 p.m. on Saturday, several hours before Vence said he woke up and discovered Maleah was missing.
Detectives have not heard from Vence in several days. Fregia said they have been attempting to contact Vence to have him meet with an artist who will draw a sketch of the suspects.
“You would think if a loved one was missing that you would be coming forward” he said.
CNN is attempting to reach Vence for comment. No one has been arrested or charged in the girl’s disappearance.
Maleah’s father looking for answers
Among those looking for answers in Maleah’s disappearance is her father, who wants Vence to tell him directly what happened the night she went missing.
Houston police are leading the investigation, but Doug Adolph, a spokesman for police in Sugar Land, Texas, said that Vence’s story changed multiple times.
“His story did not add up,” Adolph told CNN Wednesday, without elaborating.
Asked for clarification Thursday, Adolph said he couldn’t go into specifics, but “the substantive details of what he described to us changed.”
“I can say that fundamental parts of his story changed throughout the course of our initial interview,” Adolph said.
Maleah is about 3 feet tall and weighs 30 to 40 pounds. She was last seen wearing a light blue Under Armour jacket, blue jeans and gray Under Armour tennis shoes with pink and white details.
Houston police ask anyone with information about the case to call 713-308-3600.
As police look for the girl, Davis is left to wait.
“I haven’t spoken to the public because I can’t talk about my daughter. I can’t control my emotions. I can’t predict myself. I break down and I cry,” he said.
Maleah had undergone three head surgeries due to an injury, and her father remarked on the strength she has shown throughout the ordeal.
“Even in pain, even in her injury, my daughter went through everything she went through and it did not change anything about her,” he said.
CNN’s Nick Valencia contributed to this report.