Local News

Missing Fayetteville girl, 3, found unharmed

Posted August 22, 2014

Shaniya Hawkins. Photo courtesy The Fayetteville Observer

— A 3-year-old girl who disappeared from her Lakehaven Drive home Thursday night was found unharmed at a neighbor's house Friday after a nearly five-hour search.

Lt. Todd Joyce said investigators think Shaniya Grace Hawkins wandered from home and got into the residence three houses away through an unlocked back door.

Officers searching for the little girl walked up to the residence Friday just as the homeowner returned from work. When the homeowner opened the door, police said, Shaniya walked out.

It is unclear how long the girl, who has a cognitive impairment, was inside the home alone.

Joyce said Shaniya was "in good spirits" and was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center a precaution. No charges are pending.

Joyce said Shaniya’s mother left home for work Friday morning, and the girl’s father woke up later to find her missing. Officers were called to the family home about noon and began an exhaustive search.

A police dog was used in the search, and members of the Fayetteville Fire Department helped canvass the neighborhood. The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons issued a Silver Alert shortly before 4 p.m.



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  • 50s Child Aug 22, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The story - which may have been updated since your post - said the neighbor was coming home from work just as the searchers got there, and the girl came out when the neighbor opened the door.

  • grampasbaby Aug 22, 2014

    AWESOME end to this possible horrible story. I hope the parents, will be able to learn from this. I am not claiming that they did anything wrong. Don't attempt to "read into" my comment. Still, there is much to learn. The safety of this child, is their #1 concern. This is very clear, with their instant response, once this child was noticed missing. Door and window chimes, may be a viable solution. Maybe some kind of tracking bracelet. Maybe something else. I don't have all of the answers, but there is certainly something, that can be learned from this experience.

  • geraniumposey Aug 22, 2014

    These things can happen.
    Thank goodness she is OK.

  • jomowf Aug 22, 2014

    What a homecoming!

  • iron fist Aug 22, 2014

    Great news!!!!!

  • Pepe Silvia Aug 22, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Not all missing children are under the intention Amber Alerts. They are only used when there is evidence that the child has actually been abducted AND there is description of the suspected abductor.

    An Amber Alert is to notify the general public to be on the lookout. Someone who is elderly or has cognitive impairment qualifies for a silver alert because they often believed responsible for their own disappearance (aka, grandpa wandered off) but may not be able to realize they are lost or seek help.

  • Linda Kerns Kellogg Aug 22, 2014
    user avatar

    strange that the neighbor didn't notify anyone for 5 hours?! Glad the child was found safe.

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone Aug 22, 2014


  • Wacky_dood Aug 22, 2014

    Found safe and sounds a few door down. Finally some good news....

  • jenniferhelenhelen Aug 22, 2014

    Why no amber alert????!???!?