Shaniya Davis’ story touched millions of people, including NBA star Shaquille O’ Neal who was eager to help her family.
According to The Huffington Post, Shaq paid for the 5-year-olds funeral. The ceremony, held Sunday, was attended by more than 2,000 mourners. Shaniya had been missing for nearly a week when her body was found beside a rural North Carolina road on November 16.
Since the girl’s initial disappearance, her mother, Antoinette Davis, has been charged with human trafficking and child abuse involving prostitution. Mario McNeill, Antoinette’s alleged accomplice, has been charged with kidnapping, rape and murder in this case. This comes after he admitted to being the man seen carrying Shaniya into a hotel.
“I was sitting at home watching it on the news and the story brought a tear to my eye. What happened to her was tragic. I wanted her to have a funeral that would be as beautiful as she was,” Shaq said in the statement.
How much Shaq spent on the service is undisclosed, but a rep for Rogers and Breece Funeral Home told the Fayetteville Observer that a child’s funeral “averages around $4,500.”
– Sonya Eskridge