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Shaniya Davis, Fallen "Angel" Remembered In Pictures

(CBS/Family Photo)
Photo: Shaniya Davis.

SANFORD, N.C. (CBS/AP) For one week, North Carolina held its breath, hoping that 5-year-old Shaniya Nicole Davis would be found alive after her mother Antoinette Davis reported her missing Nov. 10.

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

But, seven days later, the reality that police say they are uncovering is far worse than anyone could have imagined.

Police believe Shaniya Davis' mother, Antoinette Davis, 25, sold her daughter into sexual slavery.

(CBS/Family Photo)
Photo: Shaniya Davis.

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

On Saturday, they arrested her and charged her with human trafficking, but, police say, she offered no help in finding her baby girl.

Then Monday, Shaniya Davis' lifeless body was found by rescue workers in a wooded area near a highway in Sanford, N.C., a small town 40 minutes south west of Raleigh and 30 miles from Shaniya Davis' Fayetteville trailer park home.

(AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)
Photo: Vigl for Shanyia Davis in Fayetteville, N.C., Nov. 16, 2009.

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

"I still feel kind of sick to my stomach," said Angela Jackson, 27, of Sanford, who has a 2-month-old daughter and was one of hundreds who searched for days.

Another man, Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, has been charged with kidnapping the girl. He was seen on video surveillance carrying Shaniya Davis down the hallway of the Comfort Suites hotel in Sanford on the same day the girl was reported missing. A hotel worker called police, but by the time they had arrived McNeill and Shaniya Davis were gone.

McNeill eventually turned himself in, but refused to help officers find Shaniya Davis. Police claim he admitted to the kidnapping, but his attorney, Allen Rogers, says he will plead not guilty.

The relationship between McNeill and Antoinette Davis is not yet clear, although Antoinette Davis' aunt, Leona Cromartie, told the The Fay Observer on Sunday that she had met McNeill before. She also said that Antoinette Davis is pregnant.

Antoinette Davis only recently took custody of Shaniya Davis, according to the child's father Bradley Lockhart, who said he raised her for the first four years of her life. On Monday, on CBS' The Early Show, Lockhart pleaded for his daughter's life.

"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," he said. "She's a precious, little angel, full of joy … 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."

Hours later, Shaniya Davis was found dead.

At a Monday night vigil for his murdered daughter, Lockhart, so weak he was held up by others, cried to a crowd of 500 "Lord, I come to you with open arms and it is hard … Don't give up on me and don't give up on Shaniya. She's right there with you."

Fayetteville police have not yet said if they will add murder charges for McNeill and Antoinette Davis nor if there are any other suspects in the case.

MEDIA
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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