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Shaquille O'Neal So Moved by Shaniya Davis Murder, He Paid for 5-Year-Old's Funeral

(Getty Images/Chris M. Gordon)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (CBS/AP) Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal was so moved by the horrible fate of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis, who police say was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in rural North Carolina, that he paid for the little girl's funeral.

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

O'Neal's spokeswoman says the Cleveland Cavaliers player was touched by the stories and got in touch with the family to see what he could do to help.

(AP Photo)
Photo: Shaniya Davis.

More than 2,000 people attended the girl's funeral Sunday. Her body was found Nov. 16 beside a rural road amongst garbage bags and deer carcasses.

Her mother, Antoinette Davis, is charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution. Mario McNeill, an acquaintance of the girl's mother, is charged with murder, rape and kidnapping in the case.

McNeill was arrested days after police say he was seen on video surveillance carrying Shaniya Davis in a hotel in Sanford, N.C., about 30 miles from the girl's home and 40 miles from Raleigh. Shaniya Davis' body was found in Sanford.

According to North Carolina correction authorities, Antoinette Davis is pregnant with another child. She remains in custody.

O'Neal is recovering from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him for six straight games since getting hurt Nov. 12 against Miami.

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

VIDEO
VIDEO: WRAL - Funeral for Shaniya Davis
VIDEO: WRAL - Funeral held for slain Fayetteville girl

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
November 25, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Murder Case: 20 Investigators Still Working Details of North Carolina Tragedy
November 25, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Dad Defends Giving Girl to Mom Now Charged with Selling Her as Sex Slave
November 23, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Grandmother: My Daughter, Antoinette Davis, "Did Not Harm Her Kids"
November 23, 2009 - Shaniya Davis Funeral Video: Father Bradley Lockhart Said God "Did This for a Reason"
November 20, 2009 - The Shaniya Davis Story: Timeline of "Angel's" Last Days on Earth
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

  • Neil Katz

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