Police: Suspect in teen's murder confesses

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by WENDY CORONA

WFAA

Posted on September 9, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 10 at 11:39 AM

Shania Gray was a 16-year-old high school student who loved track and sang in her church choir.

Shania was shot after school on Thursday, and her body was then dumped in the Trinity River.

Carrollton police now think she was killed to keep her quiet.

Shania was last seen leaving Hebron High School in Carrollton. Within the hour, investigators believe she was dead.

Police say the suspect, 30-year-old Franklin Davis of Irving, has confessed to the murder. And we've learned that Shania was the victim in a sexual assault case involving Davis.

Davis made bond after his arrest last summer and was awaiting trial.

Family and friends talked about the unfathomable loss of a very special young woman.

"She had a beautiful voice... so much going for her, so many talents," said friend Jonathan Simon.

Shania was also an accomplished track and basketball athlete who could light up a room with her smile.

"It's just sad to see someone's life taken at such a young age," Simon said.

But through the hurt and mourning, there is forgiveness and faith.

"'Vengeance is mine,' said the Lord, so he's gonna get his due justice," family friend Sherry Ramsey said.

Police said Franklin Davis admitted to shooting the teen in a wooded area of Campion Trails Park in Irving within an hour after he picked her up from Hebron High School on Thursday afternoon.

Before Davis was taken into custody on Friday, family friend Rev. Nathan Lewis said Davis posted a Facebook message about what he called the "monster" he had become.

"It didn't take him long at all to admit it to police officers," Lewis said. "He wanted to put this behind him, and I'm sure he has the deepest of regrets for it... but he went about it the wrong way."

Detectives used GPS tracking and cell phone records to determine that Shania had been communicating with Davis. They also knew the general area where the teen had been taken.

A cyclist discovered her body in the Trinity River near Irving on Saturday afternoon.

Carrollton investigators took Davis into custody Friday night on unrelated traffic warrants. He was the only suspect in Shania's disappearance.

Police said he confessed to the murder on Saturday night.

"She hadn't even begun to live her life yet," Ramsey said. "This is the time that you lean on God, because I think without that you won't make it. It's not possible."

And Rev. Lewis added this message of comfort to family and friends: "Though this seems so hopeless to us, God has a way of getting glory from it," he said.

Shania's friends have taken to social media to share their grief. They've planned a vigil at 7 p.m. Monday for Shania at Horn High School in Mesquite, which she had attended before this school year.

E-mail wcorona@wfaa.com

Dallas County Franklin Davis Arrest Warrant

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