When Shaniya Davis disappeared 8 days ago, her mother, 25-year-old Antoinette Davis dialed 9-1-1
Operator: Ok, ma’am, how can I help you?
Caller: I woke up this morning and my daughter was not in the house. I don’t know if she walked out, or I don’t know what’s going on, but she’s not here.
Operator: How old is your daughter?
Caller: She is five.
Police now believe Shaniya’s mother was lying and that the call was part of a cover-up. They say Antoinette Davis knew just hours earlier she had sold her daughter as a sex slave.
Operator: And your door was not unlocked? That’s what you are telling me?
Caller: No, it was not unlocked. But I’m telling you she knows how to unlock it. I’m hoping she didn’t unlock it and walk out.
Police have charged 29-year-old Mario McNeill with kidnapping. On the morning Shaniya disappeared, detectives say McNeill was spotted on a hotel surveillance camera holding the five-year-old in his arms. Investigators say they believe when Shaniya left the hotel, she was still alive. Her body was found Monday in the woods seven miles from that hotel.
Members of Davis’s local community are now shocked and angered.
“I have children, I have babies, that would devastate me alone to know that it would happen to my children,” says Cynthia McCoy, a resident in Fayetteville.
Shaniya’s body was positively identified by the medical examiner on Tuesday.
“It’s not the result I wanted, it’s not the result any father or family would want for their children, but God has a greater calling for all of us,” says Brad Lockhart, Shaniya’s father.
The five-year-old girl had lived most of her life with her father. He had raised her and says allowing Shaniya’s mother to have informal temporary custody beginning in mid-October was based on his belief Shaniya should better know her birth-mother.
Brad’s sister, Carey, who raised Shaniya as if she were her own child, said she last saw her niece when she dropped Shaniya off at her mother’s house last month.
“I went and took her to see her mother, I packed her with two days of clothes, got her out of the car, kissed her goodbye and I told her to be a good girl, and she turned back and said I love you Aunt Carey and see you later.”
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