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Police to file new charges in 5-year-old's death

Posted November 19, 2009

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— Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, of 2613 Pine Springs Drive, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis.

Shaniya was reported missing from her home, at 1116-A Sleepy Hollow Drive in Fayetteville, by her mother on Nov. 10. Volunteer searchers found her body Monday afternoon in the woods off N.C. Highway 87 near the Lee-Harnett county line.

No cause of death has been released.

Prosecutors in Cumberland and Lee counties met for four hours Wednesday to discuss how to handle the case. They must prove where the girl was killed to establish legal jurisdiction to prosecute someone on a murder charge.

Fayetteville police and Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis met again Thursday to discuss the case.

A source close to the investigation told WRAL News that there's a strong likelihood Cumberland County will handle the case.

McNeill, 29, was charged last Friday with first-degree kidnapping in Shaniya's disappearance. In an affidavit for a warrant to search McNeill's 1997 Mitsubishi Galant, investigators said McNeill told them he picked Shaniya up in front of her home and drove her to a Sanford hotel. A Nov. 10 hotel security video from a Comfort Suites in Sanford appears to show him carrying her.

Shaniya's mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, 25, was arrested last weekend and 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 she "did permit an act of prostitution with Shaniya."

Police haven't said whether they're looking at someone other than Davis or McNeill as a suspect in Shaniya's death.

Was girl payment for drug debt?

Meanwhile, investigators are trying to determine what might have prompted Davis' alleged actions, including allegations that Shaniya was given up to settle a drug debt, said Theresa Chance, spokeswoman for the Fayetteville Police Department.

“Lots of people are saying that, so it’s part of the investigation,” Chance said.

She declined to comment on whether Davis owed money to McNeill.

Both McNeill and Davis are being held in isolation at the Cumberland County Detention Center for their protection, authorities said.

Funeral arrangements for Shaniya weren't complete Thursday.

Residents of the Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park where she lived with Davis planned a Thursday night prayer service to remember the girl.

39 Comments

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  • CJZMOM Nov 20, 2009

    I've been following this story from the beginning, and I've been trying to keep my thoughts in perspective; it's hard...

    I just believe that everyone who took part in this is going to pay one way or the other. From what I see, McNeill, the mother, the boyfriends, her family members (who did know, right), the father, and other people who remained quiet are all going to have to deal the the consequences of this outcome.

    Some things just don't add up...

    Even if the father wanted to give the mother a chance. What stopped him from contacting the school, just to make sure that his daughter was adjusting well to the transition? Did he call his daughter during her stay? Did he visit her? Did he try to get her back for a weekend to provide some consistency for her? Did he think he could just place the child there and not follow up.

    This pains my heart, for there are so many families out there praying and waiting for the miracle of a child.

  • wildcat Nov 20, 2009

    KEEP YOUR CHILDREN IN YOUR SIGHT AT ALL TIMES. NEVER TRUST UNKNOWN STRANGER WITH YOUR CHILD. BE SAFE AND HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

  • wildcat Nov 20, 2009

    Prisoners do not tolerate child sexual abusers, or murderers. They really are in for it.

    The father learned a hard lesson and should have checked the mother out regardless of the changes she said she was making. He should have checked with the social services himself.

  • wildcat Nov 20, 2009

    The mother will get servitude while in prison. With a hideous crime as this, they both are under suicide watch. This mother is horrible in the way she gave up her daughter for a sexual favor. This is beyond sick and mental. Lock her up for life and make her get rid of these dreg-locks. He should have to get a clean short hair cut.

  • Deb1003 Nov 20, 2009

    Let Ms. Davis and McNeill into the prison population. Take him off suicide "watch". Let them face their sentence in prison. The State shouldn't protect them from harm, they certainly didn't protect that innocent child from harm.

  • Made In USA Nov 19, 2009

    I predict the new charges will be...

    Mom will be charged with murder for hire.

    McNeill will be charged with rape of a minor and first degree murder.

    But that's just a guess. If it's proves to be true, then the only proper punishment would be the death penalty for both of them.

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 19, 2009

    "I read where Shaniya's father has never been married and has five children by three different mothers." RB Troll

    I understood he was married to Vickie Coleman Lockhart, who was shot to death during a home invasion at the home of one of her friends. There was a conviction in the case and the man is in prison -- never sure where you get your information. The Lockharts had three children together.

  • tarheel1968 Nov 19, 2009

    the mother needs to be blind folded when she goes into labor with this unborn baby and as soon as it comes out, he or she should be taken away immediately. this woman doesn't deserve to lay her evil eyes on the baby.

  • Butterfly Nov 19, 2009

    RB- I agree, I think there are more people involved besides the 2 sitting in Jail.

  • donnied1952 Nov 19, 2009

    I, thank God, cannot even imagine what this baby went through. To be raped, carried off by people, and we don't even know how she was killed. What must have been going through her 5 year old mind.

    Bless her small soul. And dam the people that put her through this kind of hell.

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