Let me begin by saying that I have been following this story from the very beginning. This little girl, Shaniya, has a place in my heart forever. Something about her smile really tore at me, and I sat by my computer constantly checking for updates on her whereabouts and safety. For some reason, this specific story made me stop whatever I was doing at the time and pay attention.
For those who haven't been keeping up with this story in the news, let me get you up to speed...
This beautiful little girl, Shaniya Davis, was five years old when she was raped and murdered (allegedly) by Mario Andrette McNeill.
Shaniya spent most of her childhood living with her father, Bradley Lockhart, and his relatives. While it's clear that neither of Shaniya's parents were picture perfect, you can tell that Mr. Lockhart loved his little girl very much.
Shaniya was the result of a one night stand, and Shaniya's mother, Antoinette Nicole Davis, had drug problems and run-ins with the law. It seems as though Mr. Lockhart thought Antoinette had begun to get her life together, and he allowed his daughter to stay with her Mom for a period of time.
He said his daughter had lived with him for the past three or four years. He let her live with her mother, Antoinette Davis, about three weeks ago because she had found a place to live and had held a job for six months, he said.
"I just wanted her to be a mother," he said. "She was never part of her life."
He would never see her again.
Shaniya's mother, Antoinette, called 911 from her mobile home in North Carolina :
While working in Utah in the construction field, Bradley Lockhart found out that his daughter had been reported missing. Abducted from her mother's mobile home. He flew back home to speak with investigators and help locate Shaniya. He was desperate, making television plea after television plea begging for help from the public in locating his precious little girl.
The television pleas were helping with leads. People were calling in with possible sightings, ideas, theories... you name it. The scariest of which were those who knew Antoinette and thought that she might have been prostituting her 5 year old daughter in a back room of the home she disappeared from.
Police arrested their first suspect, Clarence Darriel Coe (30) who just happens to be Antoinette's boyfriend. They quickly realized they had the wrong man and released him when a tipster called in from a hotel in Sanford after witnessing the little girl and a man identified by Mario AndretteMcNeill. Investigators quickly looked through surveillance tape and passed out photos like this to the press to try to locate Shaniya.
Later, McNeill was arrested.
Turns out he bragged to a couple buddies that he killed the girl and then buried her in an area that had deer carcases.
Cold blooded bastard.
There she is, folks. In the arms of the man who is now accused of raping and then murdering her.
No shoes. Not sure why that bothers me.
I wish I was able to reach into the computer screen and grab her.
Antoinette Davis was arrested for selling her daughter for sex. Many people on the Internet are assuming she might have given up her little girl because of a drug debt of some kind. She is pregnant with another child, and one reporter made comments that it seemed as though she was going through withdrawls during her first court appearance. What was she taking while pregnant? It's clear Ms. Davis doesn't care about anyone but herself.
I wish someone, somewhere could have done something.
This is where my crime post turns into something else...
Where was God when this little girl was being raped?
Where was God when she was being murdered?
Why didn't God help her?
You see, I used to really believe that our loving creator was watching out for us and helping us when we needed it. Sure, bad things happened... but you can't expect God to be everywhere... right? At least, that is what I told myself to make my beliefs make sense.
I remember listening to my teachers in church tell of the wonderful miracles God performed. Every once in a while, on the news, I would hear an amazing story in which people claimed their survival or the birth of a premature baby was nothing short of one of these miracles. Their stories were like proof to me. They enabled my belief.
You would also hear horror stories on the news. The wars, the abuse, the murders, the accidents that killed people that had promising lives ahead of them. What did I say to make myself feel better about these?
God has a reason for everything.
I have to ask you guys, the believers out there, one question.
What is the reason that God didn't help Shaniya? If God performs all of these miracles, saves lives, heals people, and works in mysterious ways, why didn't He help her?
He certainly had the time.
He could have stopped her father from allowing her to spend time at her mothers.
He could have performed some miracle that would stop the cold blooded murderer from first raping her and then taking her life.
He just didn't?
Did she not deserve God's help?
It's certainly not because people were not praying for her to come home safely. People all over the WORLD were holding their breath and pleading with God to intervene.
Why didn't he?
If God really exists, which I clearly doubt, he made the choice to *not* help Shaniya. After all, He sees and hears everything. God is supposedly everywhere, right?
Why would a loving God sit back and let this happen to a young child?
Why does he let this happen every single day to thousands of other children?
Why doesn't he heal childhood cancer?
If you claim he can, why doesn't he?
Where was God when this girl needed him?
Now I am at a crossroads. Usually I would take comfort in the fact that this little girl was up in heaven with the angels. Not feeling pain, not being afraid.
I don't have that anymore.