Local News

Warrants: Explicit photos found on murder suspect's phone

Posted January 28, 2010
Updated January 29, 2010

— Sexually explicit photos of a young girl were found on a cell phone belonging to a man charged with kidnapping, raping and killing a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl in November, according to search warrants.

Shaniya Nicole Davis was reported missing from her home on Nov. 10. Her body was found in a patch of kudzu off a rural road near the Lee-Harnett County line six days later.

Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, of 2613 Pine Springs Drive, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape of a child and first-degree kidnapping in the case. Police have characterized him as a family acquaintance.

The search warrants, which were unsealed this week, show that Fayetteville police detective Jason Sondergaard found sexually explicit photos on McNeill's Virgin Mobile cell phone, including some that depicted a young girl. Sondergaard consulted with physician who specializes in forensic pediatrics to try to determine the age of the girl in the photos, but she could only confirm that the photos were of a young black girl.

It's unclear whether the photos depicted Shaniya.

Security video from a Sanford motel taken shortly after Shaniya's disappearance showed McNeill with her. Investigators said in the search warrants that the pair was at the motel for about 90 minutes.

Shaniya's 7-year-old brother also told investigators that a man with dreadlocks whom he didn't recognize was in the family's home the night before Shaniya was abducted, according to the warrants. McNeill had dreadlocks at the time of his arrest.

The search warrants show that police also searched the home on Sleepy Hollow Drive that Shaniya shared with her mother and brother, a house where McNeill was staying, a car belonging to a man who was later cleared of any wrongdoing, two other cell phones, a portable GPS navigation device, a computer and two digital cameras.

A warrant detailing the search of McNeill's 1997 Mitsubishi Galant was never sealed. Police said they seized clothing that could fit a child, a plastic straw and other items from the car.

An autopsy determined Shaniya died of asphyxiation and that injuries she suffered were consistent with a sexual assault. The autopsy report noted she was wearing only an adult-sized black sweatshirt and panties when her body was found.

Shaniya's mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, 25, has been 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 "did permit an act of prostitution with Shaniya."

Notes from a medical examiner included in the autopsy report state that Davis "reportedly owed money to McNeill and offered the daughter in exchange for forgiveness of her debt."


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 29, 2010

    Rev RB, that passage says nothing about if someone is "changed" or "good" or "evil"...or even somewhere in the middle.

    Romans shows that Jesus/god only requires that someone "confess" & "believe“ to be "saved".

    This is a huge point to be made...the point that people think they can do anything (except blaspheme, of course LOL) and be "forgiven". Well, according to their dogma, they're right.

    So, back to the example at hand. This guy baby rapist/killer will get into heaven...and I, someone who hasn't eaten animals in 20+ years because it harms other creatures, will be burned & tortured for all eternity.

    Seem right to you? Seem likely? Seem like a good "morals" and "values"? If so, why?

  • Adelinthe Jan 28, 2010

    hereandnow99 - "But, as for any sort of “spiritual” punishment...forgettaboutit. This guy is home free."

    You think that's what Romans 10:9 & 10 is all about?

    Remember, God can see into one's heart and can see if they're truly changed or if their heart still holds evil.

    God bless.


  • ambidextrous cat Jan 28, 2010

    Usually news articles don't cause me to show visible anger, but this one did.

  • floseh Jan 28, 2010

    I can think of many painful things that could be done to these two,but I can't be their judge. Only God can punish them the way they should be. Mans punishment is only as long as they live, Gods is forever. Think on it.
    The Floseh

  • itsmyownopinion Jan 28, 2010

    "WRAL I don't want to know the details of this horrible crime. Justice has to happen inside a courtroom. Nothing said here can change what happened or what will happen. It is reprehensible to present every minor detail in the name of profit...." ghimmy51

    It's not a minor detail, and it's not for profit. Just stop reading and let WRAL do its job posting the NEWS.

  • familyfour Jan 28, 2010

    They (mom and molester) need to be shot. Period.

    This whole state cried, worried, and looked for her for all those days, all the while...she knew....he knew....and they proceeded with what they know was WRONG.

    There is no air on this earth that should be inhaled by such thoughtless, unfeeling, deranged souls that would do such to a child.

    I do care to put them up for life, they do not deserve the expense.....harsh or not. Jail is too cushy, and they do not deserve to live another moment, in my opinion.

  • OzzzMan Jan 28, 2010

    The police should do the right thing and put these two out in the general jail or prison public instead of confinement. Then they will get their due.

  • ghimmy51 Jan 28, 2010

    WRAL I don't want to know the details of this horrible crime. Justice has to happen inside a courtroom. Nothing said here can change what happened or what will happen. It is reprehensible to present every minor detail in the name of profit. People are HURTING and grieving. A good person neither wants nor needs the extreme closeup and "How did it feel?" That's not Journalism. That's not "News". It's really nice on the rare occasion when you "hold the high ground" rather than descend to the lowest possible depths. Maybe try a little harder? Once in awhile I'm proud of WRAL. It would be nice if I could do it more often.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 28, 2010

    If convicted, punish him harshly...here and now. Definitely.

    But, as for any sort of “spiritual” punishment...forgettaboutit. This guy is home free.

    “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

  • Fishman Jan 28, 2010

    So when are we going to hear about the trial, sentencing and execution (I hope)?