Body of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis found on NC roadside

Shaniya Davis, the 5-year-old North Carolina girl missing since last week, has been found dead on the side of a highway in North Carolina.

Although Shaniya was known to be an endangered child after her disappearance, the discovery of her body comes after authorities said this weekend that they believed she was still alive. Tips spotting the girl came in frequently to police, and Shaniya’s father, Bradley Lockhart, released a statement to his daughter via the press:

“We just ask that they bring her home safe. We all miss her and love her very much,” Lockhart said. “Shaniya, if you’re listening to daddy, I miss you so much, honey. I’m waiting for you. I’m not going to give up. You don’t give up either, honey.”

Having raised Shaniya for years, Lockhart expressed regret to press that he’d allowed his daughter to live with her mother in recent months. Shaniya’s mother, Antoinette Davis, is due in court today on charges of child prostitution and human trafficking in relation to her daughter’s disappearance. Police say the discovery of Shaniya’s body was due to a tip.