/Reward increases in search for missing 4-year-old: It is time to find Maleah

Reward increases in search for missing 4-year-old: It is time to find Maleah

As the pressure builds to find missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis, Crime Stoppers of Houston has increased its reward to $12,500 for information leading to the person responsible for the little girl’s disappearance.

Combined with the $15,000 offered by the Houston Police, the total reward has now reached $27,500, Crime Stoppers said.

Police believe the 4-year-old was murdered and are looking to find her body to give her family closure, Houston authorities said last week.

PHOTO: Members of Texas EquuSearch conduct a search for four-year-old Maleah Davis, May 6, 2019, in Humble, Texas.Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP, FILE

Members of Texas EquuSearch conduct a search for four-year-old Maleah Davis, May 6, 2019, in Humble, Texas.

“The sadness surrounding Maleah Davis’ disappearance has captured the hearts of our city and the nation,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is among those who has partnered with Crime Stoppers, said in a statement Thursday.

“I appreciate those who continue to search for the missing 4-year-old, but it is time to find Maleah and bring her home,” Turner said.

Maleah was last seen on April 30 when surveillance footage captured her going into her Houston home with her mother’s ex-fiancé, 26-year-old Derion Vence. Other surveillance footage from a neighbor showed Vence leaving the couple’s apartment on May 3 with his son and a laundry basket.

PHOTO: Maleah Davis in a undated photo released by the Houston Police Department.Houston Police Department

Maleah Davis in a undated photo released by the Houston Police Department.

Vence, who was caring for the Maleah while her mother was away, told police the 4-year-old was abducted by three men, including one who knocked him out during a carjacking, but Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said he doesn’t believe the story.

Police found the family’s car in Missouri City, Texas, and investigators said cadaver-sniffing dogs detected the scent of human remains inside.

Officers arrested Vence earlier this month on suspicion of tampering with a human corpse, according to police. Acevedo said Vence has not been cooperating with the investigation.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 713-222-TIPS (8477).

ABC News’ Karma Allen contributed to this report.