4-year-old girl from NJ found injured in NC motel dies - FOX Carolina 21

4-year-old girl from NJ found injured in NC motel dies

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Eric Davis (Source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office) Eric Davis (Source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office)
Deputies say they found the girl and her dad staying at this Whittier, NC, motel. (Oct. 14, 2013/FOX Carolina) Deputies say they found the girl and her dad staying at this Whittier, NC, motel. (Oct. 14, 2013/FOX Carolina)

A 4-year-old from New Jersey died in western North Carolina, and now her mother claims the father is responsible.

Erica Davis died after she was found with severe injuries at the Qualla Motel in Whittier, NC, on Saturday.

Family members said her father, Eric Davis, took his two children away from their mother two years ago and has been on the run ever since. He was arrested and charged with child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.

The motel's manager said Davis and his kids were staying there for about a month, and he never suspected anything suspicious about the family.

"They've been real quiet since they've been here, no problems," said manager Larry Gailey.

Jackson County deputies said they found severe injuries on Erica, who was in critical condition at Mission Hospital until she died Saturday.

Davis' ex-girlfriend, Billie Jo Brown, who had custody of the children, said he kidnapped them two years ago.

"I don't even know what to think right now," Brown said. "Because it's terrible that you can really do that to a child who's only 4 years old. And how much really could she have done to deserve that?"

Gailey said Davis was always with the children and was seen playing with them on the swingset in front of the motel during their month-long stay.

When deputies arrived, Gailey said Davis was visibly shaken.

Brown is on her way back to North Carolina to try to get her 3-year-old boy back, who was also with Davis at the motel.

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