Slain teen had been babysitter for accused killer's daughter

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by SHON GABLES

Bio | Email | Follow: @shongables

WFAA

Posted on September 9, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 10 at 12:05 PM

CARROLLTON — If Shania Gray wasn't playing sports or helping her mom with her five-year-old autistic brother, her childhood friend said she was always singing.

A tearful Jonathan Simon said he'll miss her friendship... her voice... and her laugh. "To see someone's life taken at such a young age..." he said, unable to continue.

Another family friend, who did not wish to be identified,  was equally distraught. "Its almost like a terrible dream... a dream that you wish you could wake up from, but this is reality — this actually happened."

Police found Shania's body floating in the Trinity River on Saturday afternoon. She had been shot in the head.

The wife of accused killer Franklin Davis confirmed that in 2011, Shania babysat Davis' then six-year-old daughter from a prior relationship. But the teen quit after accusing Davis, 30, of sexual molestation.

Shania's family had been preparing for an upcoming trial, where Davis was facing child sex assault charges.

Now they're arranging her funeral.

"He took away a precious young girl... and I hope he has to pay all this time for what he has done," said family friend Sherry Ramsey.

Shania had plans to go to college. She was an "A" student and was by no means "naive."

The teen's father declined to speak on camera, but showcased his daughter's sports medals. Her mother said she will wait to speak with Shania's friends at her former high school in Mesquite about a planned memorial set for Monday night.

For now, both parents are surrounded by family and friends.

"Her mom wasn't in a position to talk. She's not doing that well; she's lost her only daughter," Ramsey said. "But they're holding their own. They know God is a keeper, and that's the only way I think that any of us will make it through that. She was 16... 16!. She didn't deserve this; she really didn't."

Plans are being made to hold a candlelight vigil in Shania's honor at 7 p.m. Monday at Horn High School in Mesquite.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com

Dallas County Franklin Davis Arrest Warrant

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