Searchers returned Monday to a wide area in south-central North Carolina to look for Shaniya Davis, whose mother reported her missing from a Fayetteville mobile home park Nov. 10. Authorities say they went to the area over the weekend based on a tip.
Capt. Charles Kimble of the Fayetteville Police Department said several agencies spent the day looking for signs of Shaniya between Spring Lake and Sanford, which are about 25 miles apart.
A surveillance camera recorded the man charged in the girl's kidnapping carrying her into a hotel room in Sanford, about 30 miles away.
Police arrested Shaniya's mother Sunday and charged 25-year-old Antoinette Davis with human trafficking, felony child abuse involving prostitution and filing a false police report.
Shaniya's father, Bradley Lockhart, had raised her for four years with help from his sister, Carey Lockhart-Davis, who had been like a mother-figure for Shaniya. But Lockhard gave Shaniya to the girl's mother because, he says, she had a job, seemed more stable and told him she wanted the role of Shaniya's mom.
On "The Early Show" Monday, Lockhart and Lockhart-Davis said they're trying to stay optimistic that Shaniya will be safely returned.
"I've been feeling hopeful every day," Lockhart told co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez, "that someone out there would do the right thing and take my daughter somewhere to a hospital, police station, just anywhere safe, 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."
An emotional Lockhart-Davis said, "I just want you to bring her back. She's an amazing, breathtaking individual. She has a calendar at school, and when you're good, your daily calendar, you get a little blue mark on it. And, every day, she came home with a blue mark. And she would walk in the door and she'd say, 'Aunt Carrie, I got another blue mark, I got another blue mark!' And then she'd get her treat and we'd go out back and we'd play and -- she was smart. And just so happy and full of joy. And I just ask that, at this time, please just let her go. She doesn't deserve this. Have a kind heart."
Lockhart said, when he heard of the accusations against Antoinette Davis, he felt totally numb. "Just everything inside of you falls out," Lockhart said. "You just lose all train of thought. Reaction is none. You just -- you just hope for the best."
He admitted he had some reservations about giving Shaniya back to her mother but, "She had been trying, and I know that she had been working for at least six months, and she had been trying to get her life back on track, and she said she had just recently got her own place. So I was wanting to give her a chance. She had asked if she could be a mother, and I felt that she was sincere in asking. And I figured to give her a chance."
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