Into Thin Air
Nevaeh's mother, Jennifer Buchanan, has had her ups and downs in life. Arrested on a charge of First Degree Home Invasion she was found guilty of breaking into homes to support a drug habit in 2006. Nevaeh's grandmother, Sherry Buchanan, was granted custody of Nevaeh while her daughter was incarcerated. After Jennifer was released from jail she lived with her mother and her daughter in the run down apartment at Charlotte Arms
Jennifer Buchanan has told police that she spent the afternoon hours watching television at the apartment along with Nevaeh. She told police that Nevaeh left the apartment around 6:30 pm to go a friend's apartment in the same building. According to Jennifer's statement to police, a few minutes after Nevaeh left the apartment, another child who lived in the building knocked on the door to tell her than Nevaeh was out riding her scooter in the street which Jennifer interpreted as being the parking lot of the apartment building. When Jennifer got down to the parking lot, she was unable to find Nevaeh but found her scooter abandoned by the side of the building.
Jennifer claims to have searched the surrounding area for 45 minutes finding no trace of Nevaeh. She eventually informed the apartment manager that Nevaeh was missing. After an unsuccessful canvass of the apartment building, the police were called around 8:30 pm.
A Disturbing Revelation
A task force from the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, the Michigan State Police , and the FBI was formed to search for Nevaeh and an Amber Alert was issued. As the police investigation progressed, it was learned that Jennifer Buchanan had befriended and had exposed her daughter to to convicted sex offenders, George Kennedy 39 y/o and Roy Smith 48 y/o. George Kennedy was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl behind a gas station in 2002. Roy Smith, a friend of Kennedy's, was convicted in the sexual assault of a woman who claimed that he raped her twice in his car in 1991. Jennifer Buchanan has stated that she knew about Kennedy's past, but that she had confronted him about it and he had been "honest with her about it". She also told police that she knew that Smith attended classes with Kennedy so she figured that he had been convicted of the same sort of offense. Buchanan has also stated in a television interview that Kennedy had become a sort of "father figure" to Nevaeh. Both Kennedy and Smith, whose parole conditions forbid contact with children or anyone who has children, are now both in jail on possible parole violations.
A search warrant issued early on in the investigation stated that a friend of Nevaeh's claimed that he had seen a man stab Nevaeh in the woods near the apartment building. The boy's mother has subsequently discounted that information, stating that the boy saw nothing. The blood from a knife recovered from Kennedy's hotel room was tested and determined not to match Nevaeh's DNA. The police have not released further information about that blood, including whether or not the blood was human blood.
A Horrifying Discovery
On June 4, a father and son who were out fishing stumbled across a ghastly discovery. They noticed what appeared to be quick drying cement over a disturbed area of ground down a steep embankment a few feet away from the River Raisin in Monroe County. After kicking away a piece of cement they observed human flesh and contacted police authorities. On Tuesday, the body was confirmed as being young Nevaeh's. She had been buried in a shallow grave with a quick drying cement poured on top of her small body.
An initial investigation by the medical examiner has determined that there is no evidence of outward trauma to Nevaeh's body, discounting the earlier information in the search warrant that she was stabbed. Authorities have indicated that it may be several weeks before the cause of death can be determined or ruled on.
So Many Unanswered Questions
While focusing on Kennedy and Smith, the police investigation has apparently not ruled out Nevaeh's mother as a person of interest either. She has been questioned multiple times, and last week gave permission for the police to search her apartment. Jennifer Buchanan has publicly stated that she has no involvement in the girl's disappearance, and walked off the Nancy Grace show the other night while under intense grilling from the host.
While many questions remain unanswered, one thing remains clear, heaven spelled backwards spells Hell.
Statements made in this post are my own and are not intended to reflect the views, opinion or position of the Michigan Attorney General or the Michigan Department of Attorney General.