Local News

Fayetteville police continue to probe child's death

Posted November 25, 2009 2:32 p.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2009 6:23 p.m. EST

Shaniya Nicole Davis

— Fayetteville police continue to follow up on leads in the death of 5-year-old Shaniya Nicole Davis, Chief Tom Bergamine said Wednesday.

The child 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 died of asphyxiation, according to preliminary autopsy results.

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.

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."

Bergamine wouldn’t comment on whether more charges will be filed.

“We just have to see where the investigation takes us,” Bergamine said.

Bergamine said counselors have been brought in to help the department deal with the tragedy of Shaniya’s death and the murder-suicide of a local family earlier this month.

Police said Billy Maxwell Jr., 47, killed his family at 314 West Park Drive on Nov. 2. The victims included his wife, Kathryn Maxwell, 43, daughter Connor Maxwell, 17, and son Cameron Maxwell, 15.

Billy Maxwell was suffering from mental illness, according to Rev. John Cook, pastor of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church.