For days North Carolina authorities have been searching for 5 year old Shaniya Davis. Today, a week after she was reported missing by her mother, police think they found her body beside a road. Shaniya’s father, Bradley Lockhart, sat at a vigil praying as the news was broken to him. According to all the reports, Lockhart’s estranged wife, Antoinette Davis, is accused now of selling her little girl into prostitution. This almost unbelievable story has to be one of the most horrid I have personally ever heard tell of.
The mother, whom Davis held out hope of reconciliation with, was arrested on Saturday and is charged with human trafficking and felony child abuse for her alleged offering up her petite daughter into prostitution. Apparently a surveillance camera revealed one Mario Andrette McNeill, aged 29, carrying the young child into a hotel room on the same day the mother reported her missing. McNeill has since been charged with kidnapping, but obviously further charges are impending should evidence surface as to his and the mother’s part in the incident.
Literally hundreds of police and volunteers now stand paralyzed at the news the the little girl might be dead. No official identification has been made by officials in Fayetteville as of this writing. The father was visibly shattered in the parking lot of Swann Station Baptist Church in Sanford Monday night, where the vigil for young Shaniya was being held. Theresa Chance, Fayetteville Police Department spokeswoman had this to say:
“Detectives have been running off adrenaline to find this little girl and to bring her home alive. You have a lot of people in shock right now.”
Police have not established the relationship, if any, between Antoinette Davis and Mario Andrette McNeill. But it seems clear that a small child who has been missing, and then presumably being found dead, has some connection to the man seen carrying her to a hotel room. Bradley Lockhart must be literally out of his mind in grief and guilt now. He had raised the child until she was four, only allowing the mother to take her recently. He apparently acquiesced to the mother’s plea to care for the child, and be a good mother, as some reports reveal. Now, he has stated his self doubt and deep sadness over having let Shaniya go.
Everyone has to be wondering what kind of world it is we live in where people can do things like this to their little ones. “Shocking” does not even begin to cover the depth of horrible emotion attached to this story. All we at Everything can say is that we offer our most sincere hope that this man somehow lifted from his misery. And, that somehow, the unfortunate little person who was found, is not this man’s child. Unimaginable, we are all so sorry, certainly there is no pit in hell suitable for those who offend angels.
The video below courtesy CBS, is Lockhart’s please for the return of little Shaniya, before this latest news arrived.
Image courtesy: CBS