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Bradley Lockhart, Shaniya Davis' Father, Pleaded For Girl's Return in Vain

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Bradley Lockhart, father of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis, appeared with his sister Carey Lockhart-Davis on CBS' "Early Show" Monday to beg for the girl's safe return.

PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead

But their tearful plea was in vain; After a massive, nearly week-long search effort, Shaniya Davis was found dead Monday afternoon in Sanford, N.C., about 30 miles from her Fayetteville home. Sanford is 42 miles southwest of Raleigh.

"Drop her off at Wal-Mart, anywhere, I don't care – just so somebody can find her and bring her back to the people that love her," her father Bradley Lockhart said Monday morning, hours before police found his daughter's body.

"She's a precious, little angel, full of joy," he said. "A little reserved when you first meet her, but once she gets to know you, she just runs around, plays and won't leave you alone."

"I just ask that, at this time, please just let her go," said Shaniya's aunt, Carey Lockhart-Davis. "She doesn't deserve this. Have a kind heart."

(Family Photo/WRAL-TV)
Photo: Shaniya Davis.

PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead

Bradley Lockhart and his sister, who live out of state, cared for the girl until last month, when she went to live with her mother. Antoinette Davis had worked to get her life together and had been working for at least six months and gotten a place of her own, Bradley Lockhart said.

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

"She had asked if she could be a mother, and I felt she was sincere in asking, and I figured to give her a chance," he said.

But according to police Antoinette Davis had not gotten her life back together and sold her daughter into sexual slavery. Her arrest documents say that she "knowingly provide[d] Shaniya Davis with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude" and she "permit[ted] an act of prostitution."

Antoinette Davis was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.

Another man, Mario Andrette McNeill, has been charged with kidnapping in the case. He was seen last Tuesday in a hotel surveillance video carrying Shaniya Davis towards an elevator in a Comfort Suites hotel in Sanford.

Police have not yet commented on whether the charges against Antoinette Davis and Mario Andrette McNeill will be amended to include murder. The relationship, if any, between Antoinette Davis and Mario Andrette McNeill is unclear at this time.

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PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
November 17, 2009 - Antoinette Davis, Mom Accused of Selling Shaniya Davis as Sex Slave, is Pregnant Again
November 17, 2009 - Shaniya Davis, Fallen "Angel" Remembered In Pictures
November 16, 2009 - Mario Andrette McNeill: Things May Get Much Worse for Man Charged With Kidnapping Shaniya Davis
November 16, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Found Dead; Mother Turned Little Girl Into Sex Slave, Say Police
November 16, 2009 - Bradley Lockhart, Shaniya Davis' Father, Pled For Girl's Return in Vain
November 16, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Found Dead; Mother Turned Little Girl Into Sex Slave, Say Police
November 16, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Not Found: Cops Fear Missing Child is Dead, Search Focuses on Body
November 16, 2009 - Shaniya Davis: Missing 5-Year-Old Seen in Horrifying Hotel Video
November 16, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Missing: Mother Arrested for Human Trafficking, Putting Daughter in "Sexual Servitude"
November 11, 2009 - 5-Year-Old Shaniya Davis Missing; Foul Play Suspected

  • Sammy Saltzman

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