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Shaniya Davis' Aunt Says Mother, Antoinette Davis, was "Neglectful" Before Child's Murder

(CBS/Family Photo)
Photo: Shaniya Davis.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (CBS/AP) When Shaniya Davis, the 5-year-old girl found dead in rural North Carolina, went to live for the first time with her mother, Antoinette Davis, alarm bells went off for the little girl's aunt.

PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead
PICTURES: Shaniya Davis' Vigil

"Antoinette and I never really got along because of the way that she neglected her children," Carey Lockhart-Davis said. "I feel robbed. I feel that Shaniya was robbed."

(AP/Fay. Observer/Stephanie Bruce)
Photo: Bradley Lockhart and Carey Lockhart-Davis.

PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead
PICTURES: Shaniya Davis' Vigil

Lockhart-Davis is the sister of Bradley Lockhart, the girl's father. Bradley Lockhart had raised Shaniya with his sister's help until one month ago, when he agreed to let Shaniya stay with her mother because Bradley Lockhart felt Antoinette Davis, 25, was ready to be a mom again after overcoming financial problems.

(AP/City of Fayetteville Police Dept)
Photo: Antoinette Davis, 25.

PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead
PICTURES: Shaniya Davis' Vigil

"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 told CBS' The Early Show.

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

According to police, Antoinette Davis sold her young daughter as a sex slave before the little girl turned up dead.

(AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)
Candlelight vigil for Shaniya Davis in Sanford, N.C., Nov. 16, 2009.

PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead
PICTURES: Shaniya Davis' Vigil

She has been charged with human trafficking and felony child abuse. More charges are expected today.

Her sister, Brenda Davis, has said she does not believe the charges and argued that Antoinette would not hurt her children. Antoinette Davis' aunt, Leona Cromertie, said Antoinette is PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead
PICTURES: Shaniya Davis' Vigil

Searchers discovered the girl's body Monday, nearly a week after Antoinette Davis reported her missing from a mobile home park in Fayetteville, an hour south of Raleigh.

Maria Andrette McNeill has also been charged in the case. He was seen on a hotel surveillance video carrying Shaniya down a hallway on the day she went missing. He turned himself into police Nov. 13 and, according to his lawyer, plans to plead not guilty to a kidnapping charge. Police claim he admitted the crime.

Still, no one has been charged with Shaniya's murder. As of Tuesday morning, Fayetteville police said they had no new charges in the case.

An autopsy was being conducted to determine how Shaniya Davis died.

In the meantime, Shaniya was remembered by family and friends in two vigils.

"She was just learning how to ride her scooter," Bradley Lockhart said at an emotional news conference. "Every day was special with Shaniya."


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PICTURES: Shaniya Davis Found Dead
PICTURES: Shaniya Davis' Vigil

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
November 18, 2009 - Shaniya Davis' Little Body Found Near Deer Carcasses in Trash
November 18, 2009 - Police: No New Charges for Shaniya Davis' Death ...For Now
November 18, 2009 - Shaniya Davis' Aunt Says Mother, Antoinette Davis, was "Neglectful" Before Child's Murder
November 17, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Vigil: Tearful Father Bradley Lockhart Prays, "She's Right There With You"
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

  • Edecio Martinez

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