Shaniya Davis was only five. She liked playing dress-up and dancing to the tunes of soulful music. On November 10, Shinaya’s mother, 25-year-old Antoinette Davis, reported her missing. The police subsequently uncovered shocking information: Officials believed that the little girl’s mother, Antoinette sold her daughter into sexual slavery. They arrested Davis and charged her with human trafficking. On November 16, the little girl’s dead body was found by rescue workers in a wooded area near a highway in Sanford, North Carolina. ESSENCE.COM spoke exclusively with Shaniya’s half-brother, Byron Coleman, 21, about the incident, how he found out, and what he remembers the most about his baby sister.
ESSENCE.COM Can you tell me about your little sister, Shaniya?
BYRON COLEMAN: She was a very sweet little girl but very, very, shy. She wouldn’t go to just anybody, you would really have to know her. And, she would have to get warmed up to you, especially males. She was a daddy’s girl.
ESSENCE.COM: How close were you to her?
COLEMAN: Me and Shaniya were really close. I would see her every time I came home (from college). The last time I saw her is when we went to Chuckie Cheese. It was fun and she enjoyed it. We went there and McDonald’s and then I went to the store to get her some flip-flops. She saw how they lit up when you walked so she was like, “I want these,” and a Barbie doll.