Local News

Police: Foul play suspected in Fayetteville girl's disappearance

Posted November 10, 2009

— Cumberland County authorities say foul play is suspected in the disappearance of Shaniya Nicole Davis. The 5-year-old girl went missing from her home, 1116-A Sleepy Hollow Drive in Fayetteville, Tuesday morning.

An Amber Alert was initiated for Shaniya just before noon, Lt. David Sportsman said.

Police responded to the home around 6:50 a.m., and Shaniya's mother told officers that she last saw her daughter at 5:30 a.m. The mother’s boyfriend and her sister, along with an infant and Shaniya's 7-year-old brother were also in the home when the girl went missing.

“There is definitely something not right about the situation. Foul play is suspected,” Fayetteville police spokeswoman Theresa Chance said Tuesday evening.

It is unclear how the child left the home.

"The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are very odd. A 5-year-old usually...(is) not awake at 5:30 a.m. normally, and they just wouldn't leave their home," Chance said. "If she would have wandered out of her home, she would be around here somewhere."

Shaniya Davis, Police search for missing Fayetteville child

Chance said the family has a history with the Department of Social Services.

"There have been major DSS issues with this family – who has custody, switching back and forth," Chance said.

Chance said it's unknown whether the child's disappearance is related to those issues. Police said Shaniya's father flew in from out of state Tuesday afternoon and was talking to investigators.

"We're treating this as a child in danger, with the information we have," Chance said.

Chance said police have been called to the home before. This summer, officers served a search warrant at the home and found a variety of drugs inside.

The family was not allowed inside the home Tuesday evening after it was deemed a health hazard due to extensive sewage leaks, authorities said.

Police K-9s, firefighters and sheriff's deputies searched the area throughout the day Tuesday.

“We are searching for her and hoping to find her alive, but we just don't know at this point,” Chance said.

Chance noted that search dogs did not pick up Shaniya's scent, which they would have if the child was wandering around outside.

Shaniya is described as 3 feet tall and 40 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt with pink underwear. She is thin and has a scar on her foot.

Fayetteville police say three registered sex offenders live in the neighborhood. Theresa Chance said the offenders, along with everyone else in the neighborhood, have been interviewed.

The sex offenders are not considered suspects, Chance said.

Anyone with information is urged to call Fayetteville police at 910-433-1856 or call or call 911 or *HP.


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  • shortcake53 Nov 11, 2009

    The latest is that they found her favorite blanket in a neighbors trashcan. I guarantee you the little girl didnt put it there herself. I pray they find out where she is and get the creep who is responsible.

  • familyfour Nov 11, 2009

    I love how the moderators don't post comments that I make when it makes the gov't look like the poorly operated facilities that are mongering our money that they really are.

    Way to go, WRAL....

    We can always move it to GoLo....

    It isn't fair that she didn't and still doesn't have anyone on her side.....until she is *gone*.

    Report the truth, and let others speak it or shut it all down. Its not worth pondering porous thoughts......or dealing with useless people.....ie: DSS

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 11, 2009

    UNCW, you have a point there. Sometimes custody cases drag on and on. I still don't see why the children have not been placed in foster care, but sometimes foster care turns out badly too. :(

  • uncw05 Nov 11, 2009

    itsmyownopinion - I took it to be a custody battle too until I read about the stuff going on in that house. If he can't win a custody battle based on that information, he must be really really horrible.

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 11, 2009

    whocares said,"It says that her father flew in from out of state. I wonder if he has any idea what has been going on or, if he has, he just doesn't care. ..."

    How do you know that? It's been reported there have been custody issues, and maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I took it to mean that there had been a custody battle, and that usually means both parents are involved. On the other hand, you may be right. I just hope and pray she's found safe and no worse for the time she's been away, but that could just be my delusion. I am just tired of children being abused, kidnapped, murdered, etc.

  • vote4changeASAP Nov 11, 2009

    hereandnow, Jesus's message was about chiding the pharises, not chiding people for showing concern for another by suggesting they pray for them.

    The pharises made a spectacle of themselves by performing prayer in front of the masses for their own selfish rewards, not because they were honoring God.

    Spew your anti-religious banter elsewhere. And when you spew, at least know what you are talking about.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 11, 2009

    PowderedToastMan , your “why pray” post must have flagged by the praying people here...and, yet they wonder why non-believers feel marginalized.

    Meanwhile, they are going against the commands of their most important book (bible), by their most important guy (Jesus) in his most important speech (Sermon on the Mount). It’s right there by their “Lord’s Prayer” in Matt 6. Jesus said don’t pray in public.

    1 "Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. ...

    5 And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to [pray in public places], so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.

    6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and
    shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

  • erinbsly Nov 11, 2009

    also it does not help that the follow up visits are scheduled instead of pop ins like they should be "oh you will be here 2:00 wed? ok let me clean and get rid of all the drugs, booze, random ppl... and show you how much i have changed" what a joke

  • erinbsly Nov 11, 2009

    it is realy not dss fault, there are state laws and regulations the case workers have to follow not to mention a ruling by a judge when children are taken, my mother in law used to do child services for dss and she requested to be moved to adult services BECAUSE of situations like this where she knew the child needed to be taken out of the home and her hands were tied (short of kidnapping ironicly) or when a child would be taken out of horrible situations only to be returend a week later! instead of blaming dss we need to work on getting laws changed to make it harder for children to be sent back to conditions such as these.

  • diver Nov 11, 2009

    North Carolina DFS is USELESS!!!! They are just as responsible if not more responsible for things like this happening. They always wait til one abuse too late.