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Missing Fayetteville Girl - Shaniya Davis Found Dead


Last Edited: November 16, 2009, 3:51 pm

Girl in prostitution-kid case found dead

  • N.C. mother accused of offering her 5-year-old for sexual services
  • The Associated Press
  • updated 3:35 p.m. ET, Mon., Nov . 16, 2009

SANFORD, N.C. - A missing 5-year-old whose mother was accused of offering her for sex was found dead off a heavily wooded road in a rural area Monday, ending a weeklong search, police said.


Searchers found Shaniya Davis' body early Monday afternoon about 100 feet off a wooded road southeast of Sanford, in central North Carolina, Fayetteville Police spokeswoman Theresa Chance said. She declined to comment on a cause of death or the condition of Shaniya's body.


"We've got a lot of people out at the scene right now that are torn up," Chance said. "Detectives have been running off adrenaline to find this little girl and to bring her home alive. You have a lot of people in shock right now."


Two people have been charged in her disappearance, one of them her mother, Antoinette Davis, 25. Police charged Davis with human trafficking and felony child abuse, saying Shaniya was offered for prostitution.


Davis was calm and quiet during a five-minute court appearance in Fayetteville on Monday afternoon. She provided one-word answers to the judge's questions and held her hands in front of her, without handcuffs. She requested a court-appointed attorney and did not enter a plea.


Her sister, Brenda Davis, 20, said outside that she does not believe the charges.


"I don't believe she could hurt her children," Brenda Davis said. The sisters were able to speak at the jail Sunday, and Brenda Davis recalled that her sibling said she would not do that to her daughter.


Authorities also charged Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, with kidnapping after they said he was seen in surveillance footage carrying Shaniya at a Sanford hotel. Authorities said McNeill admitted taking the girl, though his attorney said he will plead not guilty.


Davis reported Shaniya missing last Tuesday. The investigation first led to the arrest of a man named Clarence Coe, but charges against him were dropped a day later when investigators tracked down McNeill after getting a tip from a hotel employee.


Additional information led investigators to a search site near Sanford on Sunday. They continued searching Monday, scouring miles of landscape, roads, ravines and fields on four-wheelers and with helicopters.


Somber find
After Shaniya's body was found, a solemn group of searchers met quietly at a nearby fire station to ensure that all volunteers were accounted for.


"We were hoping that someone could carry her home," said Syd Severe, 42, who came from Raleigh to help with the search. "It's just sick."


A cluster of emergency vehicles and law enforcement personnel gathered where Shaniya's body was found, about a quarter mile from N.C. Highway 87. Authorities blocked access to the road, a rural area popular with hunters that is less than a mile from a large lakeside community.


Shaniya's father, Bradley Lockhart, said he raised his daughter for several years but last month decided to let her stay with her mother. He had pleaded for her safe return.


"I should've never let her go over there," he told The Associated Press on Saturday.


Before Shaniya's body was found, he said on CBS's "The Early Show" Monday that he remained hopeful someone would bring his daughter somewhere safe, such as a police station or hospital.


"They can drop her off at Walmart, I don't care," he said.


A man who answered the phone at the Lockhart home Monday afternoon declined to comment.

Entry #1,718


NBey6Comment by NBey6 - November 16, 2009, 3:57 pm
I cried like a baby when I read this, regarding Shaniya today. Why on Earth do we have to keep hearing these stories of adults/parents harming these children? What is wrong with your brain..........do you not have a heart?!

GOD/The Father/Creator help us all............

mookyb75Comment by mookyb75 - November 16, 2009, 4:28 pm
to ALL lp family members....please take a moment of silence to remember the 5 year old BABY that was found a little while ago..My heart aches and is sooooo full of sorrow for this family. What is to become of this world if the children dont have parents fo protect them and keep them safe...What type of society are we really living in? I am just so heartbroken.....
PeacefulManComment by PeacefulMan - November 17, 2009, 7:51 am
Can you believe the quote of the little girls maternal-grandmother, "My daughter's a good mother?" Not if she willing let someone violate her 5 year-old daughter for money or drugs or both.
~ Peace ~
NBey6Comment by NBey6 - November 18, 2009, 11:12 am
I just heard last night that the Shaniya's mother is pregnant right now!!
DrannyMa7Comment by DrannyMa7 - November 23, 2009, 9:12 am
This story is just unbelievable to me. What is this world with us in it coming too?

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