Dr. Thomas Clark, former Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for State of North Carolina and current Pierce County, Washington medical examiner, said his autopsy of the child showed injuries to her vagina that were "highly likely" to have been caused before death.
Prosecutors allege Mario McNeill took Davis from her home in the early morning hours of November 10, 2009 to rape her at a motel in Sanford before killing her and dumping her body in an area known to be a place deer hunters dump carcasses just off N.C. Highway 87 near the Lee-Harnett County line. Searchers finally located the child's remains after getting a tip on where to look from McNeill's former attorneys.
On the witness stand Wednesday, Dr. Clark said he estimated Davis' body had been left outdoors for roughly seven days based on decomposition.
Clark said there were no signs of strangulation, but that the child was asphyxiated.
"It would take a few minutes. It depends to a large extent how effective the asphyxiation was," he said.
Some of Davis' relatives left the courtroom as pictures from her autopsy were shown to the jury.
McNeill's defense objected to some of the pictures being shown, but was overruled.
McNeill is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape of a child, first-degree kidnapping, human trafficking with a child victim, sexual servitude with a child victim, sexual offense of a child and indecent liberties with a child charges.
Prosecutors have also charged Shaniya's mother Antoinette Davis with selling her daughter to McNeill to pay a drug debt. Davis hasn't been tried yet.