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Nevaeh Buchanan's body was found 11 years ago; her murder is still unsolved

The 5-year-old went missing from outside her Monroe apartment complex in 2009. Her body was later found along the River Raisin.
Credit: WTOL

MONROE, Mich. — It has been 11 years since the body of 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan was found along the River Raisin on June 4, more than two weeks after she was reported missing from the Charlotte Arms apartment complex in Monroe.

Her murder is still unsolved, but her family has not lost their resolve to find out what happened to Nevaeh.

On the Facebook page Justice for Nevaeh, her cousin Risa Smith created a post the day Nevaeh went missing, May 24, and asked the public to rack their brains to try to remember anything they may have seen that day.

Nevaeh, who would have turned 16 in February, was last seen alive the day before Memorial Day when she vanished from the parking lot where she lived.

About ten days and ten miles from where Nevaeh was last seen, her little body was found buried and covered in cement along the River Raisin.

RELATED: The search for answers: Who killed 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan?

Smith says the place where Nevaeh's body was not easy to get to, and finds it hard to believe that no one saw anything regarding her disappearance.

An autopsy report indicates that Nevaeh may have been buried alive. The Detroit Free Press reported in 2009 the report said testing on Nevaeh's body, including her lungs, shows she died after inhaling dirt. 

RELATED: Nevaeh Buchanan may have been buried alive

RELATED: Monroe community shocked by Nevaeh's autopsy results

But the report did not mention whether or not she was sexually assaulted.

Nevaeh's grandmother, who has since passed away, said on the seven-year anniversary of Nevaeh's death that she believes the person who abducted and killed Nevaeh knew her granddaughter.

In 2009, two men, George Kennedy, 39, and Roy Lee Smith, 48, both friends of Nevaeh's mother, were arrested as possible suspects. Both men are registered sex offenders, yet neither was ever formally charged.

Nevaeh's family also think it's suspicious that the autopsy report didn't address if Nevaeh's body had been evaluated for a sex crime. 

Her family still has no answers of who could've taken Nevaeh in broad daylight, and are still pleading for witnesses to come forward with any little detail they may remember about that day.

Police also believe there is someone out there who knows what happened to Nevaeh.

As of 2018, investigators say they have gotten more than 1,200 tips and leads regarding Nevaeh. Only partial results have been received on the analysis of evidence recovered at the gravesite and submitted to the Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory. 

If you have any information about what happened to Nevaeh Buchanan, please contact the task force at 734-457-6713.

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