Antoinette Nicole Davis, the mother of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis
According to abcnews.com the body of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis was found alongside a North Carolina highway near her hometown, according to Raleigh ABC affiliate WTVD.
Searching for Shaniya Davis: North Carolina Police Search Highway for a Body.
Police have charged 25-year-old Antoinette Davis, left, of trafficking her daughter, 5-year-old Shaniya Davis, right, who has been missing for nearly a week.
Shaniya had been missing for nearly a week. Her mother, Antoinette Davis, 25, was due in court today on charges of human trafficking and child prostitution.
Fayetteville Police spokewoman Theresa Chance told ABCNews.com today that officers had been searching a portion of Interstate 87 between Harnett and Lee counties.
“Information that we received leads us here as far as where the body was discarded,” she said.
But police, she said, continued to receive tips constantly that there had been sightings of the little girl alive.
“This is very hard on the officers,” she said. “They have their own small children. Everyone thinks ‘What if this was my child?'”
Authorities had been working around the clock trying to bring the little girl to safety, Chance said.
“Everyone is very tired, very tired and worn out,” she said.
Mark Logan, executive and director of the Polaris Project and the former U.S. ambassador to combat human trafficking, called the cases of parents pimping or selling their own children “extreme,” especially when they are very young.
“It’s frightening to learn about the age of entry into prostitution being 12 to 14,” he told ABCNews.com today.
In general when parents traffic their own children, the fathers tend to be violent and abusive, while the mothers are typically desperate.
“But no poverty or economic desperation can along explain the prostitution of a child,” he said.
While there are no numbers on how many young children are trafficked by their own parents, there are about 100,000 minors trafficked in the United States each year, Logan said.
“Most of them are runaways or throwaways,” he said.