Vence is now in jail on a charge of tampering with evidence, namely a corpse, according to police.
During a court hearing Saturday night, a prosecutor said dogs trained to find cadavers reacted to the trunk of the vehicle Vence had claimed was taken by the kidnappers.
Police say the vehicle was used to drop Vence off at a hospital, where he first reported the abduction.
Child Protective Services has been monitoring the home where Maleah lived with Vence, her mother and her siblings for months, according to spokeswoman Tiffani Butler.
He's scheduled to appear in court Monday.
Although a police source told ABC News that the young girl was still missing, they would not say whether she was believed to be dead or alive.
In the silver Nissan, police found a laundry basket that looked like the one Vence took out of his apartment, Stayton said.
Vence initially told police he had been on his way to the airport to pick up Bowens from the airport the evening of May 3 when he pulled the auto over to check whether he had a flat fire.
Vence initially reported his stepdaughter missing after he showed up Saturday at a hospital in Sugar Land, which is next to Missouri City.
Police issued an Amber Alert for Maleah on Sunday.
CNN affiliate KTRK aired an image from the camera that purportedly shows Vence carrying a laundry basket with a dark garbage bag.
"Both of the dogs reacted to the trunk of the silver Nissan that the defendant had driven and that the blue laundry basket was recovered from, indicating that the dogs were responding to the scent of human decomposition in the vehicle", Stayton said.
Officials say Maleah's stepfather, Darion Vence, is a person of interest in her disappearance. His 1-year-old son was still with him when he regained consciousness, but Maleah was gone, he told police.
Members of Texas EquuSearch conduct a search for four-year-old Maleah Davis on May 6 in Humble, Texas.
The spokesman added that Vence had abused Maleah and that Bowens believes Vence harmed the girl.
Including an unreported feeling that Vence had been molesting Maleah and that her mother caught Vence watching gay porn. According to Quanell X, Vence told Bowens that he was cleaning the apartment.
Bowens had told KTRTK-TV the injury was determined to have been caused by a fall.
"She's devastated that she knows she could have done a whole lost more in better protecting Maleah on several different fronts", Quanell X said over the phone.
- Chris Attoh's wife 'shot dead' in the US
- Premier League title race comes down to final 90 minutes
- Dyson patents hint at design of its electric crossover
- Dortmund take title race to wire as Bayern held
- Boston Red Sox have fought their way back into playoff mix
- Gunmen attack Catholic church in Burkina Faso; 6 killed
- Liverpool’s Van Dijk named EPL Player of the Season
- Venezuela crisis: Guaido seeks United States military cooperation
- Premier League Golden Boot: Tiebreaker, Race & Winner
- Trump's lawyer cancels visit to Kyiv, meeting with Zelensky