Cleveland Cavs star Shaquille O’Neal showed Thursday that he is indeed a big man.
The 7-foot, 300-plus-pound center, and part-time volunteer lawman, put up the thousands of dollars for the funeral of the 5-year-old North Carolina girl whose body was found along a rural road 30 miles from her home in Fayetteville. The services were Sunday.
Police say that Shaniya Davis, who had been missing for nearly a week, was kidnapped, raped and murdered.
"What happened to her was tragic. I wanted her to have a funeral that would be as beautiful as she was," O'Neal said in the statement released by his team. He said that he was moved to do so after seeing the girl’s story on the “Nancy Grace” television news program.
Corey Breece, of Rogers and Breece Funeral Home, declined in an interview with The Fayetteville Observer to discuss the cost of the Shaniya's funeral, but said a child's funeral "averages around $4,500," CNN reported. Bradley Lockhart, the girl’s father, had set up a trust fund to help pay the expenses. He said that any money left over would to charities working with abused and neglected children.
Mario Andrette McNeill is facing kidnapping murder and child rape charges. The girl’s mother, Antionette Nicole Davis, has been charged with human trafficking and other offenses. Police say Davis was prostituting her daughter.