Local/State

Mother of Shaniya Davis indicted

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The case of a 5-year-old North Carolina girl murdered in 2009 took a dramatic turn Wednesday with the indictment of her mother on first-degree murder charges.

Antoinette Davis, 27, had faced lower charges of human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution in the death of her daughter Shaniya. She had been free on bond since early 2010.

Shaniya Davis disappeared from her Fayetteville home on November 10, 2009 and her body was found days later in a wooded area just south of Sanford.

According to court documents, 29-year-old Mario McNeill killed the 5-year-old girl the same day she was reported missing. He is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape and kidnapping.

Investigators said after McNeill's arrest that he was given the child to pay for a drug debt.

In addition to the first-degree murder charge, a Cumberland County grand jury also indicted Davis Wednesday on charges of indecent liberties with a child, child abuse, sexual servitude, rape of a child, sexual offense of a child by adult offender, human trafficking and misdemeanor making false police report.

Davis was placed in the Cumberland County Detention Center Wednesday afternoon. Bond was denied on the murder charge. Bond for the remaining charges was set at $1.5 million.

The Fayetteville Police Department said in a statement Wednesday that the charges against Davis were upgraded "after an extensive review of the investigative file."

"Because of the upcoming trial, the Fayetteville Police Department will not be making any more statements in connection with this investigation," said spokesman Gavin MacRoberts.

No trial date for Davis or McNeill has been set.

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shaniya davis, cumberland county, local/state
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