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OMG - NC searchers find body of missing 5-year-old girl

Posted by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 3:16 PM
  • 10 Replies


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. A first court appearance for Davis was scheduled Monday afternoon, and police said she did not yet have an attorney.

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

Davis reported Shaniya missing Tuesday. Authorities first arrested a man named Clarence Coe, but charges against him were dropped a day later when investigators tracked down McNeill after receiving 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.

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.


Associated Press Writer Mike Baker in Raleigh contributed to this report.

How could this woman do this to her own flesh and blood....


by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 3:16 PM
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by Gold Member on Nov. 16, 2009 at 3:42 PM

I saw that earlier.  How utterly heartbreaking.

She was so adorable.  I can't imagine ever wanting to hurt a child like that.  That's disgusting and such an unecessary waste. 

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 3:47 PM

I think this is one of the most shocking crimes against a child that I've heard in a very long time.  It's just mindblowing a mother could do this.   

by Silver Member on Nov. 16, 2009 at 3:53 PM

heartbreaking - how cruel.  I always wonder why or even how scumbags like that are capable of having children.   Horrific.

by Member on Nov. 16, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Oh gawd, I have been trying to keep up with this news story. She was found dead. Damn that is heartbreaking. That mother is a sick bitch for doing that to her own child. Why not send the child back to her dad if she didn't want her? 

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Oh no :( I cant even wrap my thoughts around this...............Im going to go cry now.

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 5:19 PM

that poor poor baby!!! :( How could anyone be so heartless & disgusting as her "mom" (she aint no mom by my defination). . .thatpoor child.

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by Bronze Member on Nov. 16, 2009 at 8:18 PM

I must have had my head in the sand. This is the first I am hearing of this. So very horrific and tragic.

by Silver Member on Nov. 16, 2009 at 9:22 PM

I am sickened. HOW can a mother do such a thing? I am heartbroken for that poor little girl. WHY, HOW?? I just do not understand.

by Bronze Member on Nov. 16, 2009 at 9:29 PM

I live in NC and have been following the story since I heard an emergency broadcast of the amber alert on the radio last week.  That woman is NOT a mother, a mother takes care of her children, she doesn't put them in danger's way.  I feel so terrible for what that precious child must have gone through.  May she rest in peace.


by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 9:34 PM

The horrible quilt that Father will live with for the rest of his life.....That woman needs to go to jail and never get out.... 

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