Mother arrested in search for N.C. girl, 5

Associated Press / November 16, 2009

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Authorities acting on a tip yesterday searched a wide area in south-central North Carolina trying to find a 5-year-old girl reported missing by her mother, who has been charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution.

Captain Charles Kimble of the Fayetteville Police Department said several agencies spent the day looking for signs of Shaniya Davis between Spring Lake and Sanford, which are about 25 miles apart. Police searched woods and some homes before suspending the search at dark.

Shaniya hasn’t been seen since Tuesday, when a surveillance camera recorded the man charged in her kidnapping carrying the girl into a hotel room.

Earlier yesterday, authorities arrested Antoinette Nicole Davis, Shaniya’s mother. Police said the charges against Davis, which also include filing a false police report, were related to her daughter’s disappearance.

Shaniya had been living with her mother since last month. Davis reported the girl missing Tuesday morning from a mobile home community in Fayetteville.

Surveillance footage showed Mario Andrette McNeill carrying Shaniya into a hotel room, and he was arrested and charged with kidnapping Friday. Authorities have not said whether McNeill and Davis knew each other. Police said a hotel worker spotted a child matching Shaniya’s description at the hotel in Sanford, about 40 miles from Fayetteville.