Mother arrested in missing girl case


FAYETEVILLE, NC – Police in Fayetteville say they’ve arrested the mother of a missing 5-year-old who’s the focus of a nationwide Amber Alert.

Shaniya Davis has been missing since Tuesday.

Late Saturday night, Fayetteville police Sgt. John Somerindyke announced in a news release that Antoinette Davis has been charged with human trafficking, felony child abuse, prostitution, filing a false police report, and resisting, delaying, or obstructing police.

Somerindyke says detectives have not found the little girl.

The news came after the arrest Friday of 29-year-old Mario Andrette McNeill in the case. Police said McNeill was taken into custody after they got a tip from a hotel in Sanford that he had been there with Davis. Sanford is about 40 miles north of Fayetteville. Detectives said surveillance video at the Comfort Inn showed the man carrying the girl towards an elevator at 6:11 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Fayetteville police spokeperson Theresa Chance said McNeill turned himself in Thursday night and has been questioned. She said he admitted to taking Davis.

Davis’ father pleaded at a Thursday night news conference for his daughter’s safe return.

“Shaniya, if you are listening to daddy … I miss you so much … I’m not going to give up,” Bradley Lockhart said.

Thursday, the Fayetteville Police Department had announced another arrest in the case. Clarence Coe, 30, of Brookwood Avenue in Fayetteville was charged with first-degree kidnapping after a witness told investigators they saw him leaving the mobile home park where Davis lives with her in his car.

But at Friday’s news conference, Chance said there is new evidence that shows Coe was not involved, and said he was released.

“I’m not an idiot, I’m not stupid, but I feel like I was violated,” Coe said. “The whole time I told the detectives I wasn’t guilty, they came and talked to my family, they said my family was lying.”

When ABC11 Eyewitness News asked Coe what he thought happened to Davis he said he did not know.

“I’ve been asked that by 13 detectives and everybody, I don’t know and I tell you like I told the detectives, I don’t think the mother had anything to do with it,” he said. “Do I feel there might have been some negligence somewhere, yes I do.”

Coe says Antionette Davis, the child’s mother, was his girlfriend and he says he wasn’t at the mobile home when the child disappeared.

“Every day I was there the little girl was never in the living room,” Coe said. “Every night when I slept there the little girl was never in the living room, so all I can say is educated people figure it out.”

Meanwhile, officials say McNeill has an extensive criminal background. An ABC11 check of his record turned up convictions for selling illegal drugs, assault, shooting into an occupied home, and more.

He was arraigned on first-degree kidnapping charges Friday and was ordered held on $100,000 bond. His lawyer said he would enter a not guilty plea.

Anyone having any information on the current whereabouts of Shaniya Davis is urged to contact the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 433-1856. To leave an anonymous tip, call Crime Stoppers at (910) 483-8477.


Published in: on November 15, 2009 at 8:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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