Local News

Grandfather: Spring Lake girl pointed finger at kidnapping suspect

Posted November 2, 2017 4:18 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:40 p.m. EDT

— A 3-year-old Spring Lake girl has implicated her mother's boyfriend in her disappearance this week, which prompted a statewide Amber Alert, her grandfather said Thursday.

Zy'Rah Nicole Holliday was found Wednesday evening in an abandoned mobile home in Spring Lake after an intensive search by state and local authorities that lasted more than a day.

The girl was somewhat dehydrated but was otherwise in good health when she was reunited with her mother, Shaquilla Murchison, according to Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats.

Authorities say Murchison's boyfriend, Daquan Seandre Thomas, took Zy'Rah and her 11-month-old half-brother, Keyon Thomas, from the Sweet Lane apartment they share during a domestic dispute early Tuesday.

Murchison had taken out a domestic violence protection order against Thomas on Monday.

Keyon, who is Thomas' biological son, was found about four hours later at a relative's home on Crest Circle, in the same neighborhood where Zy'Rah was later found.

Thomas, 20, was apprehended Tuesday afternoon in the Crest Circle neighborhood and was charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse and one count of felony child abduction.

Ky'Rah said Thomas put her in the bathroom of the mobile home, according to her grandfather, Terry McNeill.

"My daddy put me over there," McNeill quoted the girl as saying.

She said Thomas told her he would come back for her before closing the door, but she was scared and crying and said she never wanted to go back there, McNeill said.

The mobile home had broken windows, and its floors were littered with shattered glass and debris. Coats said there was no food, water or blankets inside when Zy'Rah was found there.

The sheriff said he isn't sure if Zy'Rah was in the mobile home from Tuesday morning until Wednesday evening, but McNeill said he believes she was there the whole time.

Thomas insisted to investigators that he had taken only his son following the dispute with Murchison and had left Zy'Rah at the apartment, according to Coats.

But witnesses said they saw the girl with Thomas, and footage from neighborhood security cameras showed Thomas sometimes held her hand as she walked alongside him and Keyon, who was in a harness next to his chest, the sheriff said.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office said they received a tip from a friend of Thomas' Wednesday afternoon to search the Crest Circle neighborhood for Zy'Rah.

The manager of the mobile home park said Thomas had been banned from the property after vandalizing some of the homes.

"Everybody out here done had a beef with him," said Veronica Mills, who lives two doors down from where Zy'Rah was found. "My heart just dropped that he could do that with all these other kids running around here."

Thomas remains in the Harnett County jail under a $200,000 bond, and Coats said his investigators have met with prosecutors about filing other charges in the case.

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