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Shaniya Davis has been found dead

November 16, 2009

Shaniya DavisShaniya Davis, age 5,  reported missing by her mother almost a week ago, was found alongside a North Carolina highway today–dead.  Her mother, Antoinette Davis, age 25,  is charged with human trafficking and child prostitution.  She claimed that she put her little girl on the sofa at 5:30am Tuesday morning, and at 6:30am she had vanished.

Brenda Davis, Antoinette’s sister said her sister told her she didn’t do this and she believes her.  “I don’t believe she could hurt  her children.”  Davis’ 7 year old son was removed from her home last week and put in foster care.

At first, Antoinette Davis’  boyfriend was arrested, but he was later released when a hotel in Sanford, N.C. found a surveillance tape showing, Mario McNeill, carrying the little girl into a hotel elevator.  The timeline the mother gave and the time she was seen in the video didn’t jive, leading to the mother’s arrest.

McNeill was arrested Friday and charged with 1st degree kidnapping. He admitted that  Shaniya was sold into a child trafficking ring, but the child was nowhere to be found.    A frantic non-stop search for the little girl ensued.


man on camera

Mario McNeill

Shaniya's mother

Antoinette Davis


Fayetteville police spokesperson, Theresa Chance told ABC News that they had been searching a portion of Interstate 87 between Harnett and Lee counties saying, “Information that we received leads us here as far as where the body was discarded.”

“This is very hard on the officers,” she said. “They have their own small children. Everyone thinks ‘What if this was my child?’ ….We’ve got a lot of people out at the scene right now that are torn up. Detectives have been running off adrenaline to find this little girl and to bring her home alive. You have a lot of people in shock right now.”

She would not comment on the cause of death or the condition of little Shaniya’s body.

Shaniya's dad

Bradley Lockhart

Shaniya’s father, Bradley Lockhart, told the Associated Press over the weekend that his daughter, the result of a one-night stand, had lived with him until about a month ago.   He said he decided to give Davis a chance to raise their daughter after she showed him that she was turning her life around.  He said he should have never let her go.


Mark Lagon, executive director of the Polaris Project and the former US ambassador to combat human trafficking, said it was unusual for parents to put their children out for prostitution or to sell them when they are very young.  When it does happen, the fathers tend to be abusive and the mothers are usually desperate, but he went on to say that,

“No poverty or economic desperation can alone explain the prostitution of a child.”

He said that the average age for becoming a prostitute is between 12 and 14 years old.  There are no studies on how many young children are sold by their parents, but about 100,000 minors are trafficked in the US each year.  He said most of them are runaways or throwaways.

Lois Lee, the founder and president of the non-profit Children of the Night, says it is drug use by the mothers that cause them to sell their children.  She also said it was “very rare” for this to be done to a 5 year old.

read it below:

I’ve been following this story since it first came out and I have to say I really thought, since the truth of what happened was discovered so quickly, Shaniya would be found, go back to live with her dad, and in the end she would have a “Happy Ending.”   I was stunned when Mikka posted the article saying her body had been recovered.  I just feel sick.

I just can’t praise enough the men and women who have dedicated their lives to law enforcement.  What a difficult and thankless job they have.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. niecey456 permalink
    November 16, 2009 8:03 pm

    This just breaks my heart. 😥 There is just no excuse. None.

  2. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 16, 2009 9:07 pm

    Hi niecey–

    The thought of what this little girl was going through…. I mean, she apparently wasn’t used to being with her mother all the time, was probably missing her daddy anyway, and then the terror of what was happening to her. NG said that the dad was supposed to be picking her up that day. He’d left her there while he was out of town working. He must be beyond devastated.

  3. Starfish permalink
    November 16, 2009 9:15 pm

    I am Freaking pissed off beyond words!
    I don’t know how the father is restraining himself at this point!
    I hope this becomes a death penalty case and they should bring back stoning and yes I would be the first to throw a big ass rock at these dispicable creeps!
    So so sick over this!

  4. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 16, 2009 9:50 pm

    Hi Starfish

    I know exactly how you feel. Angry doesn’t begin to cover it. It makes me wonder if the mother had this planned all along to do something like that with Shaniya. The dad said she told him she was getting her life together and wanted to try and be a mom to Shaniya and he felt he had to give her that chance. I can’t even begin to imagine what that poor man is feeling.

  5. Hadley permalink
    November 16, 2009 11:28 pm

    Starfish, I agree! I hope someone can answer this: In the photo of the “Mario” guy taking little Shaniya to an elevator, WHO was he taking her to?? A “customer”….

    This is truly one of the most horrid, terrifying and evil crimes I have ever heard of. They said even some in LE were still in shock.

    Can ANYTHING be done to save these little children? It seems to be getting worse and worse every day! So much evil out there!!

    Rest in God’s arms, precious Shaniya.

  6. Jill from Western Australia permalink
    November 17, 2009 7:27 am

    Mystery this is just heartbreaking. My heart goes out to Mr. Lockhart 😥

    In this age of drugs how can we protect our children?
    I wish I had an answer.

    Waving hi to Starfish…long time no see 😆

    Hugs ♥♥♥

  7. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 17, 2009 8:19 am


    I don’t think we know at this point what connection Mario has to Antoinette. Was he her partner in crime, or was he who she sold the child to?

    We don’t know yet if Mario was on video leaving without Shaniya, and if so, do they have anyone else on tape leaving with her. If they have someone else on tape leaving with her, can that person be connected to a room? Was that room or all rooms that were occupied that night treated as possible crime scenes? I would think that if they have Mario on video entering, they must have him leaving, and also anyone else leaving, but that’s information LE hasn’t shared at this point.

    I think stricter laws for child abusers–and by strict I mean, no 2nd chances, and a prison term that would effectively put the person away forever would be a deterrent. Donating money to legitimate organizations that exist to help, donating your time to organizations like CASA that act as the voice for children that have been abused in court all are a way to help.

  8. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 17, 2009 8:22 am


    I agree. Just terrible. Without becoming a police state where we force screen every pregnant woman throughout her pregnancy and remove the children that are most at risk, there are no real solutions. It’s very difficult to have a child removed from a home–even when there are clear signs of trouble.

  9. Spacely permalink
    November 17, 2009 9:25 am

    Interesting Haleigh News:

  10. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 17, 2009 12:03 pm

    Wow, Spacely. I just spent the last hour reading all the documents. Talk about a mess! It clearly appeared that Kim P. was telling the truth and there were attempts to ruin her reputation out of vindictiveness. Sad.

  11. Spacely permalink
    November 17, 2009 1:13 pm


    Truthfully, I skimmed through the docs. There are a couple of follow-up articles on BNN, if you are interested.

    What I got out of it was that there was a whole lot of effort being spent on all kinds of things other than LOOKING FOR HALEIGH.

    There is a whole bunch more about these documents that I don’t like from all sides, but the bottom line is that none of it had to do with searching for Haleigh.

    Can you imagine that your little girl is missing and has been missing for months, but that your prime concern is stopping your child support payments for her and snagging some pain-killers from your mom’s bf’s medicine cabinet? That your new little baby was born bursting with illegal narcotics from your drug abuse, yet you are slinging mud against a dumb teenager doing exactly the same things? That your addiction has led to your falling down in seizures, but you are still concerned with your reputation among internet bloggers?

  12. November 17, 2009 1:18 pm

    What in the world is happening in this country? This is happening far too much and it shouldn’t be happening at all. I blame the justice system in this country for a lot of this and other crimes that are being committed. for one thing, the perpetrator actually have MORE RIGHTS THAN THE VICTIM, AND TO ME THATS WRONG. for instance, when someone is given the DP, they linger on death row for as long as 20yrs or more before theire sentence is carried out if its ever carried out. most of the time they end up dying of some other cause. and a lot of life sentences don’t really mean LIFE. this is wrong and it needs to change. THOSE WHO WE ELECT AND SEND TO THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFICES ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOBS! THE LAWS OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE RE-VAMPED. these crimes against children NEEDS TO STOP! THEY NEED TO MAKE THE DEATH PENALTY THE ONLY PUNISHMENT FOR THOSE ANIMALS WHO MURDER CHILDREN AND BABIES. NO LWOP OR LWP. THE LATTER TWO SHOULD NOT BE AN OPTION AT ALL. JUST DEATH. AND IT SHOULD BE SURE AND SWIFT! NO APPEALS BECAUSE, THESE VICTIMS ARE NOT GIVEN ANY APPEALS. then maybe this will STOP. they need to start making EXAMPLES OF THESE PEOPLE.

  13. Stacy Marshall permalink
    November 17, 2009 1:35 pm

    I am so overwhelmingly saddened and moved by this case. Could someone PLEASE e-mail me some info on where to start to try to be an advocate for these children? What is the first step to try and help or volunteer? Thank You.

  14. November 17, 2009 3:00 pm

    Spacely, where did you find that information on Haleigh’s bio mom? I would like to read this stuff. thanks!

  15. November 17, 2009 3:03 pm

    Stacy Marshall, this is something that I’m interested in as well. but I don’t even know where to begin.

  16. Spacely permalink
    November 17, 2009 3:16 pm


    The link is one comment before my last post. It takes you to a page with more links for each of the motions filed against K. Picazio. Some of the motions have addendums which are mostly re-printed e-mails.

    There is discussion of many of the e-mails at Blogger News Network. Here is a link to one article:

    To be completely fair to Crystal, I just skimmed most of the stuff and some of it was accusations from KP, but she was citing DCF sources. So, you have to read through it all and make up your own mind, but it seems clear to me that Crystal and her new hubby are dope fiends that care more about getting a high than their newborn or Crystal’s missing child. It’s a hard thing to accept that Ron is a better parent and a better choice for Jr., but there you go.

  17. Hadley permalink
    November 17, 2009 8:46 pm

    Stacey, CASA is a great place to start. Almost any child’s social service cn tell you who to phone to volunteer to help children. I have done years and years of volunteer work. Alot of it with abused/nelected children, MS Society, and Trinity Lutheran Church. Oh, my! They will be THRILLED to have help, I promise you! Click on Volunters of America, they might have info. If noting else, call your church, and tell them that you want to work to help neglected children.(Be specific)..go by local police station…bet they can tell you some of the best places to go. Please, don’t give up trying, I beg you. Thousands of little ones need you, and others.. Hadley

  18. Hadley permalink
    November 17, 2009 8:54 pm

    Spacely, just click on Keywork CASA….you will see what I mean. H.

    They are GREAT…

  19. November 17, 2009 9:10 pm

    Hi ya Mystery! Great post, and such a sad case. It is just out of this world! I hope that she goes down for murder also. Along with the so called boyfriend. RIP Shaniya!

  20. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 17, 2009 10:29 pm


    It’s appalling to me that in both the Haleigh and the Caylee cases the real victims, the two girls, are lost in the fray the adults that they were supposed to count on to protect them in life have created for themselves. They can’t even count on them in death. All involved should be ashamed of themselves.

  21. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 17, 2009 10:31 pm

    Argentina Rose,

    I read all the documents and I agree with Spacely. It looks like the complaint brought before the bar by Crystal and her mother was not the truth. The bar agreed.

    I think you right about the victims having less rights than the criminal. There does need to be an overhaul in the system, but in defense of it, it’s still the best and most fair in the entire world. There does need to be stronger laws against people that harm children. They should never see the light of day again, period. No second and third and fourth chances. Strike once and you’re out.

  22. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 17, 2009 10:56 pm

    Stacey and Argentina Rose–I should have a page up by this weekend that will be dedicated to providing a list of reputable agencies and organizations where you can make a difference by helping either financially or by volunteering. Each organization will have their own page with links to their websites and all the information I have researched about them, including their financial statements.

    On the right side of this blog under YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE are three of the groups that I believe are the real deal.

    The first one is Childhelp.
    Founded in 1959, Childhelp is a leading national non-profit organization. Childhelp® exists to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. You can volunteer, donate funds, or start a chapter locally.

    The second is my personal favorite–CASA.
    Established in 1977, CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home. They stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence—the one adult who cares only for them. You don’t have to have any special skills to join CASA. Every volunteer goes through a 30 hour training course and after completion spends about 10 hours a month working on behalf of children. The best part of all is that you are making a difference for children in your own community. They also accept donations.

    The 3rd one you are probably already familiar with because of the Casey Anthony and Haleigh Cummings cases.–Texas Equusearch (TES)The Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team was started in August, 2000 with the purpose to provide volunteer Horse Mounted Search and Recovery for Lost and Missing persons. You can become a volunteer or donate.

  23. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 17, 2009 10:57 pm

    Hadley–I agree with you, especially about CASA. There’s a permanent link to their website on the right side of this page under YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  24. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 17, 2009 10:58 pm


    This one really gets to me. Such a sad story and I feel so sorry for Shaniya’s Dad.

  25. Alexus permalink
    November 22, 2009 5:09 pm

    Im 13 years old how cold u sell ur little gurl to someone dat is so harsh if she ddnt want the lil gurl all she had to do was give her bac to her father n tell hym dat she ddnt want da lil gurl.Ithe little gurl could not live a long life becuase wat had happen. Her father n family is alaways in my paises.

  26. itsamysterytome permalink*
    November 23, 2009 10:10 am

    Alexus–You are exactly right. She should have given her back to her father. Unfortunately, money was apparently more important than her daughter’s life.

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