Local News

Police: Missing Fayetteville girl seen with man in Sanford

Posted November 12, 2009 9:30 p.m. EST
Updated November 13, 2009 5:37 a.m. EST

— Authorities are searching for a man believed to be with a missing 5-year-old Fayetteville girl, police said Thursday night.

Police said Shaniya Nicole Davis was seen at a Sanford hotel on Tuesday morning with 29-year-old Mario Andrette McNeill.

A hotel worker called police on Tuesday to report seeing a child matching Shaniya's description, according to Theresa Chance, spokeswoman for the Fayetteville Police Department.

Surveillance video showed the child with McNeill at the hotel at 6:11 a.m., less than a half-hour before her mother reported her missing from the family's home at 1116-A Sleepy Hollow Drive in Fayetteville.

Police immediately traveled to Sanford, but McNeill had already checked out of the hotel.

Chance said Shaniya appeared to be "well taken care of."

"We believe she is safe. We have no reason to believe he would harm her," Chance said.

McNeill has a criminal history, including arrests for fleeing to elude arrest, assault on a female and drug possession.

McNeill's relationship to the child is unknown.

"Whoever has my daughter tonight, I just ask that they let her go and bring her home safe. I miss her and love her very much," said Shaniya's father, Bradley Lockhardt.

Authorities urged McNeill to bring Shaniya to the closest law enforcement or medical facility so she could be safely reunited with her family.

McNeill is the second suspect in the girl's disappearance. On Wednesday, police arrested Clarence Darriel Coe, 30, of 211 Brookwood Ave. in Fayetteville, and charged him with first-degree kidnapping in the case.

A witness saw a man police believe to be Coe driving away from the Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park on Tuesday with the girl in his car, police said.

Police said Coe knows the Davis family, but they declined to elaborate on his relationship with them. His home is about 4 miles from the girl's house.

He showed little emotion during a brief court appearance Thursday afternoon.

"I'm not guilty, sir. That's all I've got to say about it," he told District Judge Tal Bagette.

Coe was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $100,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 2.

Shaniya is described as 3 feet tall and 40 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt with pink underwear. She is thin and has a scar on her foot.

Anyone with information on McNeill's or Shaniya's whereabouts is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.