Shaniya Davis
It's the heartbreaking story that has parents across America holding their children closer—the kidnapping and murder of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis.

On November 10, Antoinette Davis reported Shaniya missing from her Fayetteville, North Carolina home. Later that morning, a surveillance camera in a hotel 30 miles away showed a man carrying a girl matching Shaniya's description. A hotel worker notified police, but the man and child left by the time authorities arrived. Police identified the man as Mario Andrette McNeill, who has a history of violent crime.

As the investigation continued, hundreds of volunteers joined the search for Shaniya, and her father, Bradley Lockhart, made an emotional plea for his daughter's return.

On November 13, McNeill turned himself in, and police charge him with first-degree kidnapping. The next day, police made a shocking revelation—Davis allegedly sold her daughter as a sex slave. She was arrested and charged with human trafficking and felony child abuse involving prostitution.

On November 16, every parent's worst nightmare came true for Bradley. Shaniya was found dead, her body among deer carcasses near a rural North Carolina highway.

Since the discovery of her body, McNeill has also been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape of a child. He has not entered a plea. The state medical examiner's preliminary test results show asphyxiation as the cause of Shaniya's death.

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Published on November 20, 2009


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