Police: Missing N.C. Girl Seen With Man at Hotel
Friday, November 13, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A missing 5-year-old North Carolina girl was seen with a man at a hotel, but not the same person charged in her kidnapping, police said late Thursday.
Shaniya Davis was spotted in Sanford with a man identified as Mario Andrette McNeill, said Fayetteville Police spokeswoman Teresa Chance. She was seen with him Tuesday, about an hour after she disappeared from her home in Fayetteville, about 40 miles away.
Late Wednesday night, police arrested and charged 30-year-old Clarence Coe, who told a judge at his first court appearance that he is not guilty of kidnapping the girl. Police did not comment on any possible link between Coe and McNeill.
Chance said a hotel worker called police to report seeing a child matching Shaniya's description, but by the time police got there, McNeill had left. Authorities reviewed surveillance video and, after speaking with family members, confirmed the child's identity.
Chance said authorities are uncertain of the connection between McNeill and the child. Her father, Bradley Lockhart, made a tearful appeal for his daughter's safe return.
"We just ask that they bring her home safe. We all miss her and love her very much," Lockhart said. "Shaniya, if you're listening to daddy, I miss you so much, honey. I'm waiting for you. I'm not going to give up. You don't give up either, honey."
In court on Thursday, Cumberland County Judge Tal Baggett asked Coe if he understood why he was there.
"No, but I'm not guilty, sir," Coe said.
SO MANY QUESTIONS: WHERE IS SHANIYA DAVIS? WHY IS CLARENCE COE IN JAIL? WHO IS MARIO McNEILL? IS MOM, ANTOINETTE DAVIS, DATING CLARENCE COE?