Local News

Blanket believed to be missing girl's found in trash can

Posted November 11, 2009
Updated November 13, 2009

— Fayetteville police battled the rain Wednesday as they continued to search for a 5-year-old girl who disappeared from her home early Tuesday.

Investigators recovered a blanket that might belong to Shaniya Nicole Davis from a neighbor's garbage can. The neighbor, Andrea Moore, said police told her the blanket belonged to the missing girl.

Garbage can in Shaniya Davis case Garbage can yields clue in girl's disappearance

Antoinette Davis said she put Shaniya on the couch in their home, at 1116-A Sleepy Hollow Drive in Fayetteville, at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. When she went to check on her daughter about an hour later, the girl was missing, Davis told police.

An Amber Alert was initiated for Shaniya several hours later.

Moore said she was awakened by noises outside her home at about 3 a.m. Tuesday.

"It sounded like somebody was beating (on the wall)," she said.

She went back to sleep but was awakened later by police saying they were confiscating her trash can because it contained evidence in the disappearance of her young neighbor.

"Every time I think about it, it upsets me," she said. "The idea that this baby was missing is bad in itself, but actually feeling like I had something to do with it, that's pretty hard to deal with, this evidence being in my trash can."

Moore said she has no idea how the blanket got into her garbage can. She said police told her it was covered in feces and that feces was also found on the back porch of Davis' home.

The Davis family wasn't allowed to return to the home Tuesday because officials deemed it a health hazard due to extensive sewage leaks.

Police are looking at surveillance video of anyone who left the Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park early Tuesday, Moore said.

"I hope that she's found alive. I don't know what to think about this," she said. "From what I've heard and how the situation happened, it doesn't add up to me. I don't know what happened to her. I don't know what happened at the house."

Police said Tuesday that they suspected foul play in the case, noting that they doubted the child would have walked off on her own at that time of day.

Police dogs searched the neighborhood and some nearby woods late Tuesday and didn't pick up Shaniya's scent. Investigators said the dogs would have picked up her trail if she had been walking around the area.

"This case is definitely priority," said Sgt. Tracey Bass-Caine of the Fayetteville Police Department. "Anytime you have a child of this age (missing) or a child where the circumstances (of her disappearance) are questionable, then of course this takes precedence."

Bass-Caine said the rain that started falling across central North Carolina late Tuesday and continued Wednesday was hindering the search effort. Evidence in the case could be washed away, she said.

"We had to close down the extensive search we were doing (Tuesday night) because of the inclement weather," she said.

Antoinette Davis spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday at police headquarters answering questions. Shaniya's father flew in from out of state Tuesday afternoon and also spoke with investigators.

Police spokeswoman Theresa Chance said the family has a history with the Department of Social Services as far as custody of Shaniya and other children in the house.

Chance said police also have been called to the home before. Officers served a search warrant at the home over the summer and found various illegal drugs inside.

Neighbors said they remain hopeful for Shaniya's return.

"It's just shocking that's she's even gone," Crystal Greer said. "A lot of people have been wondering, 'Where is she? Who took her? How could she just up and disappear like that?' We're all praying she comes home and she's safe."

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.

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


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  • wildcat Nov 12, 2009

    Do the mother know this man and was he already in the house when he took the child? Is the whole issue drug-related?

  • wildcat Nov 12, 2009

    If this took the child, wonder what his real purpose was?

  • tattooed1 Nov 12, 2009

    Call me a cynic, but if the mother did the media thing,crying
    pleading,etc. my first reaction is crocodile tears. We have all
    seen it before. Also has any one ever heard of a kidnapper returning a child just because we asked them to? I just hope they
    find the child alive.

  • Diabolical Nov 12, 2009

    Okay, they arrested this guy for kidnapping, but where is the kid? I wonder if the mother put blame on him to get the cops off her back. And funny, how this morning WRAL had Coe's criminal jacket up at 8 AM for burglary and assault than now WRAL takes it down. So, I guess he was cleared of all charges? Or , why else would WRAL take it down?

  • familyfour Nov 12, 2009

    TINK....great point!

    But DSS still plays a huge part in getting them in front of the judge, and keeping them there when they should be.

  • Con Amor luvs u regardless Nov 12, 2009

    And another thing..... HAS THE MOM DONE ANY INTERVIEWS WITH THE MEDIA??? Or pleading for her daughter? Or News confrences??? I think that she is hidding what she knows about the real the situation.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Nov 12, 2009

    Was the baby sick? Is that why there was fecal matter on her blanket? Did her mother give her medicine and accidentally overdose? What is her relation to this man? Where is the father of the baby girl? Did the child mess her bed and her mother put her on the couch to go clean the mess up?

  • erinbsly Nov 12, 2009

    tink 23 that is a sad situation! i think having to call before they come is a crock what is the point of doing a visit at all? wish your friend the best!

    when are they going to find this poor child? i hope it is not to late!

  • crustyhalo Nov 12, 2009

    Fuquay Resident..DSS is about use-less as a pair of snow ski's in the desert.

  • Tink 23 Nov 12, 2009

    I would not be blaming dss either. I have a friend her sister has a daughter who she neglects and does not take care of my friend and her mother constaly call dss on the girl but everytime they do, by law dss has to call and tell the sister that they are coming out for a home vist the sister then has time to clean up the child and the home. It is very sad but dss has laws they have to go by too. So now they are trying to go through a lawyer to get custody of the child there is only som much dss can do a judge has to make the call whether the parents are unfit and the kids be taken out of the home so maybe you should be talking about how sorry the judge is who let this little girl stay in the home