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Father crusades against child sex crimes in daughter's memory

Posted June 11, 2010

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— The father of a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl who was killed last fall said Friday that his daughter's memory has inspired him to campaign against violence against children.

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.

"She talked to me. She just told me not to let her go in vain," said her father, Bradley Lockhart.

Shaniya Davis, Father uses girl's slaying to raise awareness

Lockhart, who has since moved to Alabama, was in Fayetteville for Shaniya Speaks Day, which is designed to bring awareness to sex crimes and violence against children. The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the John D. Fuller Recreational Complex on Old Bunce Road.

"(We want to) try to unite the community into making a difference to where this horrific crime doesn't happen to another child," Lockhart said.

The event comes two days before what would have been Shaniya's sixth birthday.

"There won't be that birthday party or that next birthday picture. It's tough," said Lockhart, who wears a yellow band on his wrist that bears his daughter's name. "Just like Amber Alert, when they hear Shaniya's name, it's a household name."

Lockhart, who was never married to Shaniya's mother, said he regrets that he couldn't take Shaniya to live with him in Alabama.

"I (could) actually go to work and go home every night and be with Shaniya and my other kids and really create a good family that I've been missing for so many years because traveling has taken me away," he said. "Every day is filled with some sort of thought or feeling of Shaniya."

Bradley Lockhart, Shaniya Davis' father Web only: Father discusses Shaniya Speaks Day

Shaniya was living with her mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, at the time of her disappearance. Davis, 25, is 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."

Lockhart said he has forgiven Davis for what happened to their daughter.

"With God working through me and my faith staying strong – my faith has been questioned – but I continue to stand firm behind God's word and God's message," he said.

Mario Andrette McNeill, 29, of 2613 Pine Springs Drive, is 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.

An autopsy determined that Shaniya died of asphyxiation and that injuries she suffered were consistent with a sexual assault. A medical examiner noted in the autopsy that investigators believe the girl was used to pay off a drug debt.


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  • clstuckwish Jun 14, 2010

    No dad should have never left Shaniya go to this monsters house. He knew what the conditions were like inside the home and she had come back several times with cigarette burns on her arms. She told her dad her mom did this to her. He was clearly neglectful. We can't bring her back, but Brad dropped the ball in the care of his daughter. Neighbors even warned him of letting her go to Antionettes home. He never checked up on her either. I just hope this brings awareness to people who have kids that they need to check out the situation before putting their child in harms way.. I hope God has brought Brad peace in all of this, because i'm sure he has suffered knowing it was utimately his fault. He was responsible for her care.

  • Adelinthe Jun 11, 2010

    rescuefan - "Amazing that people actually blame a man for letting his wife spend time with this little girl."

    The woman was never his wife. He had full custody of that little girl and gave over custody to that woman when he finally married one of the women he got pregnant.

    He had several children by four different women, and when a new woman came along, he let the children from the old woman go.

    So you expect me to have any pity for him???

    He knew he was sending that child to live in slums with a drug ridden mother cause he'd lived with her himself before that, until a new woman comes along.

    One who cares protects their children with their own lives, you don't put your children in danger, and that's what that guy did as soon as he found a new woman.

    God bless.


  • twc Jun 11, 2010

    He KNEW what that environment was like!! How could anyone risk their child's health and safety like that? I know many times courts put children at risk in custody cases, but he had custody; nothing prevented him from keeping her safe from that environment!!

  • rescuefan Jun 11, 2010

    Amazing that people actually blame a man for letting his wife spend time with this little girl. If he hadn't, I can bet those of you judging him would say that he was a horrible dad for not letting the mom see her (obviously prior to the crime). Funny how that works. He had nothing to do with the crime, the "mother" did. She sold her child for drugs knowing that poor baby would be assaulted and possibly murdered. She didn't care. She is 100% responsible for what happened to that little girl.

  • twc Jun 11, 2010

    Too little, too late! I've never understood why he dumped her off with her mother in the first place!

    Whatever soothes your guilt feelings; have at it!

  • Liberal Lion Jun 11, 2010

    This guy goes around making babies with irresponsible teen and allowed his daughter to stay in a nasty trailer park with unstable mother, who pregnant with another child. This guy did not want to raise her daughter and left her to stay with a sorry mother. The little girl’s blood is also on his hands, because he did not want to be responsible. He removed the child from her mother in the past, because she was unfit in the past, but since his job required him to work out of town; he put his daughter’s safety behind his job.

  • mulecitybabe Jun 11, 2010

    I agree with RB. This man to me is as much to blame as the mother, and almost as much as the "man" who did it. Something about him causes me to get a creepy, slimy feeling, and I felt that way the first time I saw him on tv. I sincerely hope he is finished fathering children.

  • Adelinthe Jun 11, 2010

    As far as I'm concerned that father has a lot to answer for letting that little girl go back to what he knew was a drug ridden mother.

    He also has a lot to answer for for kicking his eldest daughter out of the house when he married his new wife.

    I feel sorry for his children - all of them.

    God bless.


  • annemarek Jun 11, 2010

    We are all against sexual crimes as well as any other crimes against children. There seems to be many willing to commit these crimes. How do you rid society against these predators?

  • TheAdmiral Jun 11, 2010

    ""(We want to) try to unite the community into making a difference to where this horrific crime doesn't happen to another child," Lockhart said."

    As long as society continues to believe that the people who cause problems like this have a sexual preference of the like, and are not taking this as a mental problem - this will continue to happen.