Suspect allegedly killed teen to silence her before upcoming trial

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NBC Dallas-Fort Worth – Her family tell us Shania Gray could light up a room with her smile and her voice.

She had been singing in her church’s choir for years, and was expected at rehearsal that Thursday night, instead her family was looking for her.

“Her mother kept calling her cell phone, and it went straight to voice mail,” explained family friend Rhonda Simon.

Gray was a talented athlete, running  track, playing basketball and soccer.

“She was serious about track and basketball, she wanted to go to college,” said Simon.

She says her goal was to get a college scholarship for track.

That all ended, when police say Franklin Davis killed her an hour after he picked her up from Hebron High School. Police say Davis admitted to killing her during questioning.

Gray had just started at Hebron a few days ago; her family was in the process of moving from Mesquite to Carrollton. Up until this year, she had attended Mesquite Horn.

Dallas County records show Davis was facing sexual assault charges in Mesquite.

The family tells us a couple of years ago, Gray was babysitting Davis’s children. She didn’t know Davis at the time, but knew the children through their mother.

On a certain day, Davis came by, they say and assaulted her. Police believe he was trying to silence her before an upcoming trial. Detectives say they believe that was the motive.

“It’s our understanding that Shania was killed within the hour after she was picked up from school,” Jon Stovall, Carrollton Police Department spokesman said. “So she was dead… probably dead by 5 o’clock on Thursday.”

Davis had been arrested on unrelated traffic warrants and was being held in the Carrollton Municipal Jail during the investigation of the missing teen. He is now charged with capital murder.

Carrollton Police never issued an Amber Alert for Gray’s disappearance.

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