Shaq pays for Shaniya Davis' funeral

Shaquille O'Neal of the Cleveland Cavaliers
November 26, 2009 6:19:57 AM PST
NBA star Shaquille O'Neal paid for 5-year-old Shaniya Davis' funeral.

O'Neal plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. A spokesperson for the team told the Fayetteville Observer Shaq paid for Sunday's service, which was held in Fayetteville and attended by thousands.

The funeral reportedly averaged about $4,500.

The service was held at the Manna Church. At one point, more than a hundred looked through the windows of the church door because they couldn't get in.

Bradley Lockhart, Shaniya's father, was not scheduled to speak but got up and encouraged the community to not get angry about the situation.

Shaniya disappeared from her home on November 10, and her body was found days later in a wooded area just south of Sanford.

According to court documents, 29-year-old Mario McNeill killed the 5-year-old the same day she was reported missing.

Shaniya's mother, 25-year-old Antoinette Davis, is charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution.

Earlier this week, Cumberland County officials moved Davis to the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women in Raleigh for her safety. She is pregnant and is being kept in protective custody.

The state also launched a separate investigation into Shaniya's home life before she was murdered.

The North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force will review contacts the Cumberland County Department of Social Services had with Antoinette Safety.

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