As police scoured a wooded area of southwest Arkansas for missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis, unidentified remains were reportedly found in a black trash bag that had a "foul odor."
Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton said Friday afternoon that officers were searching areas of the county when they were notified that an interstate road clean up crew had come across a black garbage bag "emitting a foul odor."
Officers responded to the area where the crew found the bag. The remains have not been identified.
The discovery comes after investigators were pointed in a new direction in their search after receiving information from community activist Quanell X, the former spokesperson for Maleah's mother.
Quanell X, who announced this week that he is no longer representing Brittany Bowens because he believes “she knows what happened” to her missing daughter, said Friday that Bowens' ex-fiance, 26-year-old Derion Vence, told him Maleah's death was an "accident" and he disposed of her body in Arkansas.
"He said that he pulled over in Arkansas, got out of the car, walked off the side of the road and dumped her body off the side of the road," Quanell X told reporters.
This led officers to their search in Arkansas Friday afternoon.
It's been a month since Maleah was last spotted on surveillance footage with Vence on April 30. She’d been left in his care while her mother attended her father’s funeral.
Vence was seen taking Maleah into their Houston home, but days later, he left the apartment with his son and a laundry basket with a trash bag in it, according to authorities.
Vence told police Maleah was kidnapped by three men who knocked him unconscious while stealing his car, but his story later fell apart, according to authorities.
Texas authorities believe the 4-year-old girl is dead.
Quanell X said earlier this week that Bowens' behavior almost immediately raised red flags, but said he remained by her side for as long as he did to get information he feared police searching for the girl could not.
“[Bowens] said to me when we [were] riding in my car what she believed really happened to Maleah,” he told KHOU-TV. “At that point, I knew what needed to be done. So I arranged to meet as quickly as I could with investigators at the highest level of this case and shared everything that we had learned and discovered.”
Bowens has not been charged with any crime and has not been named a suspect in connection to her daughter’s vanishing. She has spoken out against Quanell X and said he is misrepresenting the family’s past, KRIV reported.
When she was previously lambasted by protesters who believe she is as responsible as Vence allegedly is for Maleah's disappearance, Bowens maintained her innocence.
"People are entitled to however they think. ... I know my truth," she said. "And I love my daughter unconditionally. ... I don't have it in my heart to do anything like that."
Vence is charged with tampering with evidence. He has not entered a plea.
Anyone with information regarding Maleah’s disappearance is asked to contact Houston Police at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers Houston at 713-222-TIPS.