After the tragic death of Maleah Davis shook communities nationwide, the young girl is to be remembered by Shirley Scarpetta, a Houston-area sculptor.
In June, Scarpetta announced that she would honor the four-year-old. “I couldn’t get her out of my head for a while now,” she said. “When this happens, I usually have an out of body experience and have to sculpt it.”
Scarpetta was offered an opportunity on June 27 when a private donor commissioned the piece, as reported by CNN. The base of the sculpture was completed in one day. She said that the sculpture not only represents Maleah but all children that have been unfortunately taken from the world too soon.
“It’s for all of us,” she said. “Our children are so vulnerable, and other people need to be reminded to leave a legacy of kindness and loving one another.”
Maleah went missing on April 30, generating a media frenzy and search in hopes of a safe return. She was later found deceased (May 31) in Fulton, Arkansas. Her mother’s former fiancé, Derion Vence, is charged with tampering with a corpse in connection to the child’s death.
The statue is not yet completed as it still needs to be cast in bronze. Scarpetta is hoping to finish in a month. “I just feel really bad for their family and I only hope that they can heal from this and that they’ll see the love that everyone has—they’ve fallen in love with, they’ve called her Houston’s angel,” Scarpetta told Click2Houston.