Houston Police Commander Michael Skillern told reporters that a bag containing human remains was found along Interstate 30 in Hope, some 30 miles northeast of the Texas-Arkansas border.
The bag was located by workers who noticed a foul odor coming from inside it, Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton added.
Authorities in Texas have been searching Maleah for nearly a month after her mother’s ex-fiance, Derion Vence, first reported her missing.
Vence, 27, had claimed he, Maleah and his 2-year-old son were abducted on May 4 by a group of men in a truck. He said he and his son were freed the next day but the kidnappers kept Maleah and his silver Nissan Altima. Police said Vence's story kept changing and didn't add up.