Local News

Funeral held for slain Fayetteville girl

Posted November 22, 2009
Updated November 23, 2009

— More than a thousand mourners attended the Sunday afternoon funeral of a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl who police say was murdered.

Funeral held for slain Fayetteville girl Funeral held for slain Fayetteville girl

Investigators believe that Shaniya Nicole Davis was raped and killed after she was taken from her home early Nov. 10. Her body was found in a patch of kudzu near the Lee-Harnett county line last Monday.

The public was invited to the service for Shaniya at Manna Church, 5117 Cliffdale Road in Fayetteville. Her father, Bradley Lockhart wasn't scheduled, but he changed his mind as the emotional service got under way.

"Daddy loves you, honey, and I know you are going to be waiting for me. I will see you when I get there (heaven)," he said.

Lockhart turned his grief into a call to help others.

"God has spoken. He's spoken to us through a tragedy, and it brings us here today to unite as one," he said.

"Let's take it back out there in the community," he continued, "where these things that people do not know better, people that can't control themselves, don't understand, that need help but don't know how to find help. We need to put it back out in their hands to prevent things like this."

Levon Davis, Shaniya's uncle, also addressed the mourners and comforted Shaniya's father.

"You're a good man (Lockhart), though, your family is a good family. My family is a good family. From this day forward, for years to come, the Davis family, the Lockhart family will forever be bound together," Levon Davis said.

Carey Lockhart-Davis, Shaniya's aunt, read a poem in remembrance of the girl.

"Now I give you to the Lord above. Watch over my angel, my sweet precious love," she said.

Shaniya's kindergarten classmates at Morganton Road Elementary were her honorary pallbearers.

"You came into our lives for a little while. You left footprints on our hearts, and we will never be the same," read her obituary in the Fayetteville Observer.

Shaniya's family described her in the obituary as liking "girly things," such as dress-up, fixing hair and playing with Barbie dolls. But she also liked to get outside and ride on her scooter.

"Shaniya was a happy, loving and friendly little girl. She was a good little helper around the house," the obituary read. Her favorite colors were pink and yellow.

Her surviving family includes two sisters and four brothers.

Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder, rape of a child and kidnapping. Shaniya's mother, Antionette Nicole Davis, 25, is also charged with human trafficking, felony child abuse–prostitution, filing a false police report and obstructing a police investigation.

Security video shows a man police believe to be McNeill carrying Shaniya in a Comfort Suites hotel in Sanford on the morning of her disappearance. Preliminary autopsy results show that she was sexually assaulted and asphyxiated.

A memorial fund has been set in Shaniya's memory. Donations can be made to The Shaniya Davis Trust Fund, c/o Wachovia Bank, 4200 Morganton Road, Fayetteville, N.C. 28304.


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  • christiespencer Nov 24, 2009

    Wow!! Just to spend time with his "new love" your right gembearer, where is the unconditional love? Couldnt he have spent time with his "new love" while she was sleeping safely in her bed? And just like gembearer, nope not me, not mine, not ever!!

  • Vietnam Vet Nov 23, 2009

    Rest in peace little one! We can only hope your tormentor will reap what he has sown and that Lady Justice will be swift and unmerciful.

  • gembearer Nov 23, 2009

    Got a tip for everyone here, you can take it with grain of salt. I heard that the dad has a new fiance, and apparently was not interested in raising the dtr of her fiance (and a drug abusing Mom). This would explain all the guilt this man is experiencing. Imagine....handing your baby over to the egg-donor so that you can spend private time with your new love interest....not mine, NOT EVER! Where is the unconditional sel-sacrificing love of a parent? I just don't understand....

  • hollylama Nov 23, 2009

    Airborne...you have to wonder. He had three kids from a previous marriage that could take care of themselves and perhaps taking care of a 5 yo was a bit much. Part of me feels like he said, ""lets help people that have no control that dont know any better"...because he was referencing his own mistakes and decisions.

  • hollylama Nov 23, 2009

    I also went to Morganton Road Elementary. But its strange that she went to Morganton Road. Sleepy Hollow and Murchison Road are literally on the other side of town. I wonder how she got to school everyday. She would have been an extremely bright student.
    Rogers...I agree. The father and sister are on two different pages. Likely because the aunt feels like she foresaw this and the father is trying to understand and minimize his quilt.

    Prayers for the LOST!

  • wattsun Nov 23, 2009

    This whole sitauation is indeed a of the most tragic things
    I have seen in a long time .
    may get flamed for saying this but
    Something seems a little off to me about this guy ...
    In a sick way I feel like he loves all this media attention.

  • itsmyownopinion Nov 23, 2009

    "...Why is it everytime he gets up to "speak" it sounds like he is trying to preach and sound like an african american with his speech? He didn't sound that way on the national news...."

    Do you think it's possibly because they are the majority of the people physically present when he speaks? I don't know, just a thought. I think everyone grieves differently.

  • devilblue Nov 23, 2009

    rogers922-Agree totally! Whose side is he on anyway?? Why is it everytime he gets up to "speak" it sounds like he is trying to preach and sound like an african american with his speech? He didn't sound that way on the national news. Something still is not setting well with me about him. Sorry.

  • rogers922 Nov 23, 2009

    Like a few of you, I cannot understand the "memorial fund" as it was my understanding that the funeral and all associated costs have been covered by others donations and some agencies. Unless the money is to be used for a scholarship in her name for something or other.

    His sister's remarks on the CBS Morning Show about how these criminals are getting services and meals and cushy conditions while awaiting additional charges and trials is in direct opposition to what the father is saying with forgiveness and the need for understanding. Seems like they are not on the same page.

    I think it is time to leave this family alone and get on with what needs to be done, which is get the case firmed up, charge these people with the appropriate things and then get on with a speedy trial.

  • wildcat Nov 23, 2009

    once again, the dad hadn't planned to speak and had to get in the spotlight

    You are right on the button on this one. :)