Brittany Bowens and community activist Quanell X sat down with ABC13's Chauncy Glover Friday, where she said she can't stop thinking about Maleah.
"As a mother, I want to hope that she is (still alive)," Bowens said.
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"What goes through your mind?" Glover asks.
"Where is she? How did she feel before? What was she thinking about? Will I ever find out what really happened to her?"
The interview comes a week after Bowens revealed her engagement to Derion Vence ended the day she flew to Massachusetts to be with her dying father.
Bowens said she left Maleah in his care because she trusted him, but little did she know she would return to find her daughter missing and silence from her ex.
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"I didn't know that after burying my father, I'd have to come home to this," she said.
Vence was the last person known to have seen Maleah. He told police that he and Maleah were abducted by three men, along with his 1-year-old son. Vence and the boy were released, but Maleah remains missing.
Bowens said she wanted to believe Vence's story about the attack after she was left for hours waiting for him to show up at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
But Quanell X says Bowens expressed disbelief after Vence kept her at arm's length, refusing to answer phone calls, text messages and denying her an in-person meeting.
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"I wanted to believe it, I really really wanted to believe that story," Bowens said. "The thought of him actually doing something to her, or something worse, something gruesome..."
Bowens also shared what she thought about surveillance photos showing Vence before and after her daughter's disappearance, including the image showing him carrying a laundry basket with a black trash bag inside from the family's apartment.
"I couldn't think but ask 'Is that Maleah?'" Bowens said. "Why do you have that basket when you just got laundry from my mother on the first? What are you doing with the basket? What is that? I know our routine. That's not laundry."
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Bowens also addressed social media comments expressing suspicion of her, and those who believe she should be in jail.
"People are entitled to however they think, to however they feel, to their own opinions," she said. "I know my truth. And I love my daughter unconditionally, I would never do anything like that, or my children, or my sons, anything. I don't have it in my heart to do anything like that."