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Victim Nevaeh Buchanan found dead in Monroe County; the Michigan State Police have made finding her killer a top priority.

Monroe, Michigan

The city where Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backwards) Buchanan lived her brief life lies in the extreme southeast corner of Michigan, less than an hour’s drive from the author’s Detroit domicile. Monroe is best known as the home of George Armstrong Custer. At the moment it is the center of infamy- the abduction and murder of a five year old girl. As of this writing a pedophile runs the streets of Monroe County, and if left unchecked will likely satisfy his twisted lust again. Not all pedophiles kill their victims but some do, and those are culpable of the worst form of selfishness. They steal the innocence of youth for their own gratification, then snuff out the life of their victim lest they be identified.

Nevaeh’s killer is just such a man.

Mother Makes Some Dysfunctional Choices

Jennifer Buchanan, a convicted criminal herself, consorted with other convicts. Buchanan is no angel, having a conviction for First Degree Home Invasion. Enter one George David Kennedy, who Jennifer claims she met while passing on the street. Kennedy’s record includes home invasion and 4th degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, the ‘statutory rape’ of a 15 year old. A mug shot of Kennedy is spooky enough; he looks like a man with a chip on his shoulder daring the viewer to knock it off. It was a violation of his parole to consort with other felons, and that would have included Jennifer Buchanan.

Jennifer had also befriended Roy Smith, 48, who was convicted of CSC in the 1991 rape of a woman. Examiner.com, 6/7/09, citing the Detroit Free Press.

When asked whether it was a bad idea to associate with convicted sex offenders, Jennifer Buchanan said she believed that such people deserved a second chance. Yet to this writer, Jennifer was playing Russian Roulette with her daughter’s life. Her estranged husband Shane Hinojosa commented: “This is what happens when they give children to bad people, I guess.” Toledo On the Move, 5/27/09.

Jennifer Buchanan is no MENSA member, but there is one venerable adage she should have taken to heart: “If you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.”

A Sacrificial Lamb is Taken

Little Nevaeh may have paid the ultimate price for her mother’s associations. According to Jennifer, at around 6:30 PM on May 24, Nevaeh told her: “I’m going upstairs to Austins’s house to play a game.” Jennifer told the Free Press that she “trusted her enough to actually go.” Austin was Nevaeh’s eight year old friend. Yet instead of making certain Nevaeh arrived at Austin’s safely, Jennifer sat on the couch to watch an episode of TLC’s “Jon and Kate Plus 8.” About 20 minutes later, a neighborhood girl knocked and told Jennifer that her daughter was riding her scooter in the street, which meant the parking lot. When she went out to check on her daughter, Nevaeh was gone. Click On Detroit, 6/15/09.

Why was it that of all the children playing outside on that late spring evening, a predator chose Nevaeh as his victim? And why did Nevaeh go with him so quietly, leaving her scooter unguarded, if she did not know the man? Whatever the case, little Nevaeh’s life after she entered the abductor’s vehicle could be measured in hours.

Fishermen Make a Gruesome Discovery

Two men fishing the Raisin River along Dixon Road on June 4, 2009 came across a poorly concealed gravesite. A child had been placed in a grave only feet from the river, and had then been covered with concrete. Yet the masonry job had been incomplete, and one of the fisherman smelled the odor of decaying flesh and soon found what he believed to be human skin.

After the fishermen reported their finding, an FBI Forensic Recovery Team removed the body and transported it to the medical examiner. BlinkonCrime.com. Based on DNA tests, the body was positively identified as that of Nevaeh Buchanan on June 9. Investigators have not yet released a cause of death.

Investigators are still waiting for test results from other items found at the gravesite. Freep.com, 6/16/09. The items include a beer can that was also encased in the cement, Examiner.com, 6/8/09.

A preliminary autopsy showed no outward signs of trauma.

Investigators Seeking Information From Fisherman

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is requesting tips from anyone who has recently fished along Dixon Road in Raisinville Township. Freep.com, 6/16/09. They are hoping other fishermen may have seen somebody engaged in suspicious activity along the river where the body was dumped. After all, the perpetrator must have spent considerable time at the burial scene. Thousands of tips have been called in since the body was discovered, yet as of this writing no one has been arrested. Click on Detroit, 6/15/09.

Police want to Collar This Man Before He Strikes Again

Capt. Michael Thomas, Director the Michigan State Police forensic division, has moved this case over thousands of backlogged cases, making it the number one priority for forensic analysis. That means the authorities want to nail this guy in the worst way. And why not? As Monroe Sheriff Tillman Crutchfield told the press on June 6, 2009: “In my opinion it is a very sick or disturbed person we’re looking for– a person that is able to abduct and murder a 5 year old child.” That person, to our knowledge, is still out there in the community. This writer predicts that he won’t be out there for long.