Girl, 5, sold into prostitution by her own mother hunted by U.S. police
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 6:16 PM on 15th November 2009
How could she? Antoinette Nicole Davis is accused of selling her five-year-old daughter Shaniya Davis into prostitution
U.S. police were today hunting for a missing five-year-old girl who was sold for sex by her mother.
Shaniya Davis has been missing for six days after she was last seen being carried into a hotel room by a man.
FBI agents and U.S. Marshalls have joined the nationwide search for the toddler amid fears she had been sold to a paedophile ring.
Police have charged the girl's mother Antoinette Davis with human trafficking and prostitution offences.
An arrest warrant issued for the 25-year-old said she allowed her daughter to be taken 'with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude.'
Davis, who is pregnant, first reported her daughter missing last Tuesday.
Police were suspicious of her story after reviewing a timeline of the events leading up to her disappearance from a trailer park in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
They later found CCTV footage from a hotel 40 miles from Fayetteville showing the five year old girl being carried into a hotel room by Mario McNeill.
She has not been seen since and her mother has refused to cooperate with police.
Asked if police think the girl is still alive, Fayetteville police Sgt. John Somerindyke said: 'We sure hope so.'
The girl had only been living with her mother for three weeks, according to her father Bradley Lockhart.
He had primary custody of the girl, but had agreed to let her stay with her mother after she found a place to live and held a job for six months.
Lockhart broke down in tears at a press conference when he sobbed: 'I just want her to come back safe.'
Police have not charged anyone with molesting Shaniya, but said the investigation is ongoing.
The man accused of taking her turned himself in on Friday. Police said he admitted to kidnapping the child and has been charged with kidnap.
According to arrest documents, Davis 'knowingly provided Shaniya Davis with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude' and she 'permitted an act of prostitution.'