Murdered 5 year old May Have Been Buried Alive

DeathGeorge KennedySexual Assault

MONROE, Mich. -- Autopsy results indicate a 5-year-old girl whose body was found buried near a river suffocated after inhaling dirt.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Department says that means Nevaeh Buchanan either was buried alive or had her face forcibly pressed into dirt by another person.

The autopsy could not determine the exact manner of death.

Nevaeh's body was found covered by cement in a shallow grave on June 4, 10 days after she disappeared from outside her apartment complex.

Two fishermen found her grave along the River Raisin in nearby Raisinville Township.

No one has been arrested in the girl's death.

Police won't comment on 2 men previously identified as "persons of interest" in the case.

There have not been any arrests made yet in the case.

However, police have named two convicted sex offenders as persons of interest.

George Kennedy, 39, and Roy Lee Smith, 48, both said to be acquaintances of Nevaeh's mother, were arrested shortly after Nevaeh's disappearance on probation violations simply for being associated with a child.

When Nevaeh's mother, Jennifer Buchanan, was told about the body found along the river, "she broke down, and broke down hard," Michael Buchanan, her brother, said last month.

"She couldn't believe her daughter had to go through this."

Crutchfield said Jennifer Buchanan was cooperating with police, but would not comment when asked if they believe she knows something about the crime or who murdered her daughter.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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