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Cumberland DA to discuss DSS conduct in probe of girl's death

Posted September 29, 2010

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— Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis will hold a news conference Thursday to address the conduct of the county's social services department in the investigation of the death of Shaniya Davis last year.

The 5-year-old girl was reported missing from her Fayetteville home on Nov. 10. Her body was found in a patch of kudzu off a rural road near the Lee-Harnett County line six days later.

An autopsy determined that she died of asphyxiation and that injuries she suffered were consistent with a sexual assault. A medical examiner noted in the autopsy that investigators believe the girl was used to pay off a drug debt.

Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, of 2613 Pine Springs Drive, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape of a child and first-degree kidnapping in the case. Police have characterized him as a family acquaintance.

Shaniya's mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, 25, has been charged with human trafficking, felony child abuse–prostitution, filing a false police report and obstructing a police investigation. Arrest warrants state that Davis "did knowingly provide Shaniya with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude" and "did permit an act of prostitution with Shaniya."

The Cumberland County Department of Social Services previously looked at Davis with regard to her 7-year-old son, not Shaniya, according to her uncle, Michael Davis. The case was closed, and Antoinette Davis was able to retain custody of the boy, her uncle said.

Grannis and Bergamine expressed concerns that DSS case workers were withholding information during the investigation of Shaniya's death, and they asked for a state investigation.

Last week, Grannis said he wanted Cumberland County deputies to look into DSS' actions, saying the state investigation left questions unanswered.

21 Comments

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  • oleguy Oct 1, 2010

    Hello,
    I think anyone getting assistance from the Govt, should get drug tested at least 4 times a year.
    I am sick and tired of people not working drawing 2 and 3 checks, riding the roads, on cell phones all for free.
    Just watch the kids walking from and too Govt housing, 100.00 outfits, 100.00 shoes and on a cell phone,,, I saw two one day talking to each other on the phone less than 10 foot apart...The USA (we the people) cannot support this growing number of people.... The country is already broke,
    What is the magic number or % of people working supporting the ones that dont or want.

  • wildcat Sep 29, 2010

    the father should be charged with negligent at least.

  • wildcat Sep 29, 2010

    the father has blame in all of this tragedy. He can cry all he want but I blame him for allowing the girl to go to her mother's home. he knew what the environmnt was like.

  • violetthorpe Sep 29, 2010

    i agree with you the dad was going around strowing babies like a cat strows kittens,he should be charged with criminal negligence or something.

  • angieet27 Sep 29, 2010

    I actually hold Shaniya's father more responsible than her mother.

    Her dad knew what that woman and her home were like, and yet he let the little girl go there once he got himself a new girlfriend/wife.

    God bless.

    RB

    I have felt the same way since this happened. What loving devoted father would hand his daughter over to a mother that he knew was like this. And don't even try to tell me he didn't know. I feel child endangerment charges should have been brought against him too.

  • fatman Sep 29, 2010

    This is so sad.....put her and him away for life. What kind of person could actually give their child to a drug dealer for his sexual pleasures. A better thought would be cut off their heads and we will not have to pay for them to have clothes. shelter and meals.

  • sintisha Sep 29, 2010

    "It does not matter if a worker has 50 people telling them a mother is using drugs if there is no evidence there is no evidence."

    Yes, it is the mother's fault what happen to this sweet little girl. However, if you have 50 people telling dss that she's on drugs and there's no evidence to back it up then how about a drug test? I think dss and the courts don't want to take children away from their mothers. I have seen first hand children being neglected and abused and dss called and nothing happens. The fact is that more and more people are becoming more and more crazy every year! Something has to be done, What that is, I don't know. But, I do know that it breaks my heart every time I hear a story about a mom or dad killing their own child! It used to be strangers that we had to worry about, but now it's the parents!

  • Adelinthe Sep 29, 2010

    morebad - "DSS, DSS, DSS!! Let's lay the blame where it belongs! The mother! It is HER job to protect HER child."

    DSS exists to aid those times when mothers and fathers cannot be counted upon to care properly for their children.

    This mother could not, not only of the daughter, but also in some way of the son.

    So why were both left with her, and in harm's way???

    That's what DSS has to answer for, and well it should.

    Why were children ever left in the care of that mother once her ways and means were discovered???

    God bless.

    RB

  • Adelinthe Sep 29, 2010

    I actually hold Shaniya's father more responsible than her mother.

    Her dad knew what that woman and her home were like, and yet he let the little girl go there once he got himself a new girlfriend/wife.

    God bless.

    RB

  • morebadnews Sep 29, 2010

    DSS, DSS, DSS!! Let's lay the blame where it belongs! The mother! It is HER job to protect HER child. DSS cannot see the future and only knows what an investigation reveals. It does not matter if a worker has 50 people telling them a mother is using drugs if there is no evidence there is no evidence. Just like in a court of law.

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