Man To Plead Not Guilty To Kidnapping NC Girl

The attorney for a man charged with kidnapping a 5-year-old Fayetteville girl says his client will plead not guilty.

Attorney Allen Rogers say 29-year-old Mario Andrette McNeill turned himself in to Fayetteville police Friday on the charge of kidnapping Shaniya Davis. She disappeared more than three days ago from a mobile home park.

Rogers represented McNeill at a first court appearance Friday. The attorney said he no idea if his client had a relationship with Shaniya or her mother and did not comment on Shaniya's whereabouts.

Authorities say McNeill was seen on video carrying the girl into a hotel room on Tuesday morning.

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Police in North Carolina say they have arrested a new suspect in the alleged kidnapping of a girl still missing after disappearing from a mobile home park three days ago.

Fayetteville police spokeswoman Theresa Chance said Friday that 29-year-old Mario Andrette McNeill confessed to the crime and has been charged with kidnapping. He was arrested after video footage showed him taking 5-year-old Shaniya Davis into a hotel room Tuesday morning.

Authorities on Friday also said they dropped charges against Clarence Coe, the first man they accused in the case.

But Chance says authorities still have not found Shaniya Davis and are pursuing leads.

Coe was arrested Wednesday after witnesses said they saw him take the girl from a mobile home park.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Five-year-old Shaniya Davis vanished from her Fayetteville home Tuesday. Police say a witness saw a man named Clarence Coe, who was taken custody, taking the child from the trailer park where she was reported missing. Shaniya was later spotted with another man at a hotel.

Police say they received a call from a hotel owner in Sanford, which is about 30 miles northwest of Fayettville, saying that a girl matching Shaniya's description was with a man who checked into a room.

Officials believe the girl was Shaniya and they also identified the man she was with as Mario McNeil.

Shaniya's father, who had been out of state, says the family just asks that "they bring her home safe." He also tells his daughter not to give up.

On Wednesday, Police took Clarence Coe into custody. He says he isn't guilty of kidnapping the girl. Police are uncertain of the other man's connections to Coe or the child.

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Police say they've arrested a North Carolina man in the disappearance of a 5-year-old girl but are still looking for the child.

Fayetteville police said Clarence Coe was arrested around 11 p.m. Wednesday and charged with first degree kidnapping.

Lt. Alex Thompson said investigators are still searching Shaniya Davis. The child was reported missing from her home just before 7 a.m. Tuesday. Her mother said she last saw Shaniya around 5:30 a.m. Thompson said investigators aren't yet saying how or if Coe knew the child.

Police said Coe was arrested at his home in Fayetteville without incident. He was being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center early Thursday. A jail official said records didn't indicate whether he had an attorney.


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