Courts & Crime

Questions rise after death of North Carolina child

A little more than a week before Shaniya Davis vanished, her mother told Carey Lockhart, the aunt who helped raise the 5-year-old, that she'd never see Shaniya again.

Those words echoed in Lockhart's head Monday, hours before searchers pulled a body that police think was Shaniya's from a thicket of kudzu along the border of Lee and Harnett counties.

"If I'd only known ... ," Lockhart said Monday, her voice trailing off into sobs. She had helped rear the girl since infancy.

Shaniya disappeared a week ago from her home in Fayetteville, where she had been staying with her mother, Antoinette Davis, since the end of October. Police think Davis, who had reported her missing, had allowed her to be taken for "sexual servitude."

Davis is charged with human trafficking, felony child abuse and making a false police report. A man, Mario McNeill, was charged with kidnapping Shaniya after a surveillance video caught him carrying the girl toward an elevator at a motel in Sanford the morning she was reported missing.

Read the complete story at