Monday, Sep 26, 2016
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Body of child found on riverbank is Nevaeh Buchanan, authorities confirm

MONROE ─ The body found last week along the Raisin River is 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday afternoon.

DNA testing conducted by the Michigan State Police crime lab in Northville confirmed the body was that of Nevaeh, who went missing May 24 outside her apartment on North Macomb Street in Monroe.

Family members, some of whom spoke Tuesday outside the Charlotte Arms apartment complex where Nevaeh lived with her mother and grandmother, said they were saddened by the news.

"I feel a lot of sadness now but at the same time I am happy for the help that our family has gotten," the girl's uncle, Michael Buchanan said.

He said wanted to send his appreciation to the community for donations that were given to the family since Neveah disappeared.

Diane Lawson, who is a great-aunt of Nevaeh's, said funeral arrangements will be made Tuesday night at the Merkle Funeral Home on North Monroe Street.

She said her "heart was breaking" and then she went inside the apartment complex to be with Nevaeh's mother, Jennifer, and grandmother, Sherry.

Additional details on the autopsy being conducted at the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office were not available.

Sgt. Brian Angerer with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said no additional autopsy information would be released Tuesday night.

"We are putting it out as soon as we get it," Sergeant Angerer said.

Nevaeh disappeared from her apartment complex May 24. Her body was found last Thursday along the River Raisin in Monroe County's Raisinville Township, about 30 miles north of Toledo.

Monroe County Sheriff Tilman Crutchfield previously had said police had a "reasonable suspicion" that the body was Nevaeh's, saying it appeared to be the same age, size and gender as the missing child.

The body was discovered by a father and son fishing along the banks of the River Raisin. Cement was found on top of the body, which appeared to be buried in a shallow grave, authorities said.

The body was discovered by a father and son fishing along the banks of the River Raisin. Cement was found on top of the body, which appeared to be buried in a shallow grave, authorities said.

The Wayne County medical examiner's office was conducting an autopsy on Nevaeh's body, and tissue samples were submitted for special testing, which may take weeks to come back. Officials have not given an official cause of death.

A task force made up of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies had been working 24 hours a day to find Nevaeh and solicited 1,000 tips. Neighbors, friends and family members also organized search groups to comb the area.

There have been no arrests in the case.

Two people previously identified by police as "persons of interest" in the case have been moved to a state prison in Jackson, where a parole revocation hearing will be held in the next 45 days, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman John Cordell.

George Kennedy, 39, and Roy Smith, 48, violated their parole on unrelated charges by associating with Nevaeh, among other violations, Cordell said.

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