Return to Transcripts main page


Remains Found by River Said to Be Missing Nevaeh

Aired June 5, 2009 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight. A 5-year-old Michigan girl vanishes into thin air from a local playground, the tiny tyke all set to start kindergarten in the fall, riding her scooter along with a little friend. Moments later, she`s gone. Only clue, her scooter left behind.

As we go to air, authorities end the search for 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan, clear the airspace, ordering the press two miles away from a local river. Tonight, live to Michigan. Police confirm a child`s body discovered along the banks of the River Raisin, Monroe County. It`s believed to be that of little Nevaeh, the remains just seven miles from the child`s home, matching the 5-year-old`s description and the clothing she was wearing the day she disappears.

Police, FBI, crime scene techs on the scene after a local fisherman and his son stumble on a little girl`s body buried in a shallow grave, then cement poured over the child`s body. That fisherman, who unwittingly ends the search for Nevaeh, with us live. At this hour, crime scene techs and investigators still combing the steep banks of the River Raisin for evidence. Autopsy and toxicology under way to determine cause of death.

Is Mommy`s connection to a registered sex offender linked? This as Mommy takes to the airwaves to defend her sex offender boyfriend. Yes, that`s right, she defended the sex offender. We have Mommy on audiotape. Nevaeh -- "heaven" spelled backwards. Tonight, we want justice!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Federal agents and sheriff`s deputies scouring the bank of the River Raisin for hours. Sources confirm 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan`s body was found by a fisherman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He called me. He was freaking out. He was, like, hysterical. He was hyperventilating. he didn`t know what to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ryan`s (ph) dad, Guy Bickley, saw what looked like a cement block on the river bank, and at first didn`t think anything of it. And then the smell hit him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was getting overwhelming, and he saw tons of flies around it. And he could see, like, it was starting to crack. And when he bent down, the smell got really bad. And he chipped away a little piece of it and he saw bare skin. And as soon as he saw that, he backed up and called the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have reasonable suspicion that this is the body of Nevaeh. The body has been recovered and transported to the Wayne County morgue in Detroit. An autopsy will be performed on the body this morning.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Tonight, live to Michigan. Police confirm a child`s body discovered along the banks of the River Raisin, Monroe County, believed to be that of little Nevaeh. Tonight, we want justice!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Days of searching and prayers for 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan of Monroe ends with more tears and heartaches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The body of a small child was recovered. The body appears to be of the same age, size and sex of Nevaeh Buchanan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Outside the apartment complex, Nevaeh was last seen. Hundreds huddle in prayer, coming to grips with their worst fears.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have recovered a shirt that is similar in nature to what Nevaeh was wearing at the time she was abducted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All walked in silence as the authorities (INAUDIBLE) Nevaeh`s family inside the apartment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just pain, unbelievable pain going on in there. Oh, pardon me! Oh, my God!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a material present on the gravesite that appeared to be some type of cement or concrete.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This mystery is far from over. Now investigators are working on figuring out just who killed Nevaeh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In my opinion, it is a very sick or disturbed person we`re looking for, a person that is able to abduct and murder an innocent 5-year-old child.


GRACE: Straight out to Rob Davidek with WWJ Newsradio 950. Rob, what`s the latest?

ROB DAVIDEK, WWJ NEWSRADIO 950 (via telephone): Nancy, investigators out today, using divers, as well, as the evidence technicians out along the river bank, or along the Raisin -- the River Raisin in rural Monroe County, looking for any clues that they could find to crack this case. Autopsy being done, as it was mentioned. They`re using dental work. They`re taking toxicology and whatnot. We`re told this hour that that work will not be complete until Saturday, Saturday morning possibly, at the very earliest.

GRACE: Well, to me, if they`ve got dental records. it would be a simple, simple matter of making an identification, Rob. What`s the holdup?

DAVIDEK: Well, I think, again, it`s getting back to just making sure and making sure and being positive that -- number one, that it`s her. But also, you know, the criminal case that`s going to move forward from here.

GRACE: Joining me right now there at the River Raisin, Rupa Mikkilineni. Rupa, what do you see?

RUPA MIKKILINENI, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, I am right here on the banks of the River Raisin in Monroe County, where little Nevaeh Buchanan was reportedly found, her little body was found last night. We`re only 500 yards from the area where her body was found. And it`s a rural community, farmland everywhere. It`s a beautiful little river, actually. And the area is roadblocked with police, so we can`t get very close to the crime scene itself, but it`s reportedly where little Nevaeh was found in a shallow gravesite.

GRACE: Rupa, tell me, is the location where she was buried? Last night, Rupa, when we broke the story that she had possibly been found, we assumed that the child had been encased in cement and put into the river, the killer obviously hoping that she would go down to the bottom and never come up. But that`s not what happened, is it.

MIKKILINENI: No, that`s not true. The body was found on the bank of the river, and there was a shallow grave dug and then cement poured on top.

GRACE: So the killer poured cement onto the child, onto her skin, her face, her body.

MIKKILINENI: That`s correct, Nancy.

GRACE: Matt Zarrell, what more can you tell me?

MATTHEW ZARRELL, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: ... that they`re still looking around. They`re sifting through dirt, looking through every evidence they can find. They`ve got divers in the water. They`re looking for a sick and disturbed person that did this. They`re investigating over 1,000 leads at this point.

GRACE: With me right now is a very special guest, Guy Bickley. In a primetime exclusive, he is joining us. Mr. Bickley discovered the child`s body. Thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Mr. Bickley, what took you out to the River Raisin yesterday?

BICKLEY: Just to have a day of fishing with my father, who was up here visiting for a couple weeks. We just wanted to wet a line and enjoy the day was all we had in mind.

GRACE: Mr. Bickley, what happened?

BICKLEY: We went down on the banks. And immediately, I saw some concrete on the ground off to one side of where we were going to set up to fish. And there were some rocks adjoining the cement. I thought possibly somebody had filled a hole where erosion was starting. I simply did not believe that it was anything more than that at the time.

I proceeded to literally sit on the rocks and put my feet on the concrete as a place to sit to fish, while my father was over on the other side of the area that we were fishing on. And slowly but surely, I was smelling things and asked him if he smelled it. And he said yes. I thought there might be a dead fish on the shoreline somewhere close by.

Shortly after that, I took a little walk. I didn`t see anything. But I still figured it was something on the shoreline down there, the wind blowing my way. But through all the traffic of moving and fishing and standing up, I had cracked up the concrete that we had saw laying on the ground there.

And at one point, the flies just started getting terrible and they were landing on me. I was shaking them off. And then I saw them landing on the ground down where the concrete had cracked from me walking about. And I told my dad that, Look at this, while I pushed my foot onto the cracks. And it went down and came right back up, as if there was some kind of pressure beneath the concrete.

I then proceed to scrape the little chunks that had cracked off with my toe, and that`s when a small area of skin was visible to both myself and my father. And we immediately packed up our gear and moved to the top of the hill and called 911.

GRACE: Mr. Bickley, did you immediately recognize it as human skin?

BICKLEY: I knew that it was skin, yes. I knew it was skin, not an animal. It was unidentifiable. I didn`t know what it was, I just knew it was skin.

GRACE: Mr. Bickley, at that time, were you familiar with the fact that Nevaeh was missing?

BICKLEY: Oh, yes, I was. Very much so. Yes. We`d been following it in the news.

GRACE: What was your...

BICKLEY: My father...

GRACE: What was your immediate thought when you saw the skin?

BICKLEY: It went to the child. But then denial come in. I didn`t want it to be the child. I didn`t want to be the one that found the child. I didn`t want it to be the child. But I did know in my heart of hearts that it wasn`t an animal, that it was somebody. And as it turns out, it was the little girl.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This little girl was my son`s very best friend in the world. He hung out with her every single day. And my son is a total tragic mess because of this! He has missed her every day that she`s been gone, and now he`s going miss her forever!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saw tons of flies around it. And you could see, like, it was starting to crack. And when he bent down, like, the smell got really bad. And he chipped away a little piece of it and he saw bare skin. And as soon as he saw that, he backed up and called the police.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The body of a small child was recovered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A possible break in the case of a missing 5- year-old girl in Michigan to talk about today. A child`s body has been found near a river where Nevaeh Buchanan disappeared nearly two weeks ago. It was discovered beneath cement along the banks of the River Raisin about seven miles from her mother`s complex in Monroe.

JENNIFER BUCHANAN, MOTHER: She`s not the type to just go with any kind of stranger whatsoever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So then you still feel that she was probably with somebody, whoever it is, that she knew of from the neighborhood or something?

BUCHANAN: Probably someone from around here. Not exactly technically my apartment complex, but has to be someone from Monroe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that person, to our knowledge, is still out there in the community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we can focus more on the actual perpetrator.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The medical examiner`s office is performing an autopsy that could ID the body. But the little girl`s family says authorities told them yesterday the body is likely hers and say police told them the child`s body was actually wearing clothes similar to what Nevaeh was wearing when she vanished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators and evidence recovery technicians will be at the scene again, processing the scene. We will have the evidence technicians. We will have divers in the water until such time as it`s deemed they`re no longer necessary. The area has been secured. Access has been limited to law enforcement only and local residents, and that being by road, by water, and by air.


GRACE: We are learning this body found on the River Raisin is most likely that of 5-year-old Nevaeh. Straight back to Matt Zarrell. Matt, go through the facts with me one more time about her disappearance. What happened?

ZARRELL: Well, it was about 6:30 PM May 24th, a Sunday. She went out to ride her scooter. A friend came up to the house to visit her, told the mother that she was out riding a scooter in the front of the house. The mother says she went out to find her. She was gone. They located the scooter but not Nevaeh.

GRACE: Back to Guy Bickley, a fisherman there on the River Raisin who unwittingly ends the search for little Nevaeh. Guy Bickley, when you discovered this cement, you thought nothing of it until it started to give way. After you called police, did you return to the scene?

BICKLEY: No, we stayed on top of the -- the cliff that we had to climb down to go fishing at the bottom. We stayed up at the top with our vehicle and waited for the detective from the sheriff`s department to arrive.

GRACE: When they got there, did they seek you out so you could point to the area directly for them?

BICKLEY: Yes. I accompanied the detective down to the river and pointed him in the direction of the presumed body in the concrete there, yes.

GRACE: Did you go back down there with them?

BICKLEY: Yes, I did.

GRACE: What did they say when they saw the cement?

BICKLEY: Well, he had a pair of surgical gloves on, and he touched the skin area a couple times with his finger. And pretty much from there, he said he would -- from here, he`s going to be calling in the troops, that he`s not going to attempt to do anything.

GRACE: Did he say whether he thought it was Nevaeh?

BICKLEY: He wouldn`t say. He wouldn`t say at all.

GRACE: Mr. Bickley, how has this affected you? I mean, we see things happen like this in the movies all the time. I`ve been to crime scenes, seen dead bodies as a prosecutor. But most people in a lifetime never, ever have this happen.

BICKLEY: No. Yesterday was full of -- a lot of things going on, a lot of adrenaline. Today, both my father and I, we`ve had a couple good cries. And things have caught up with us emotionally and even physically. A couple hours sleep last night. Today`s been a whole `nother world compared to even yesterday. All the denial has disappeared, and now it`s just a matter of facing the truth. And the truth hurts, no matter whose child it is. I have children. I can only imagine what I would feel like being in the same shoes...

GRACE: You have children. What are their ages?

BICKLEY: Twenty-seven and fifteen.

GRACE: Can you remember back when they were just 5 years old?

BICKLEY: Oh, yes, I could. I can remember putting them on the bus on their first day of kindergarten. And that`s what hurts. It`s unbelievable.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Jesus, beyond a shadow of a doubt. There`s no pain with her right now. There`s no sorrow, just joy.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s my sad duty to inform you that at approximately 3:00 PM, task force investigators were called to the scene of what was reported to be a possible body that had been buried.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to realize that most of the investigators involved have children or grandchildren of that approximate age. So it is very personal to them. And actually, it`s heartbreaking.


GRACE: Straight back to Rupa Mikkilineni, joining us there at the River Raisin. Rupa, I don`t understand the hold-up in identifying the body. They have dental records. You don`t need DNA to identify a body when you have dental records.

MIKKILINENI: Nancy, look, the police came over to the family`s home late last night, and they made it pretty clear, 99 percent clear, sure, that the identification is of Nevaeh Buchanan. That`s what they believe. They just aren`t saying because they`re looking for the autopsy results. They`re looking for coroner results.

GRACE: Joining us right now is the family of little Nevaeh, Danielle Owens, Nevaeh`s aunt. Ms. Owens, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Ms. Owens, what are police telling the family?

OWENS: Well, the only thing they have told us is that they found the body and that they were sure of the identification as of the height, the weight, the hair color, and what she was wearing, is all they told us as of yesterday.

GRACE: Ms. Owens, do they know cause of death yet?

OWENS: No, they do not. They have not told us, or do I know if they do know it.

GRACE: Rupa Mikkilineni, also joining us there at the River Raisin. It`s my understanding there was no outward trauma to the body. In other words, no stabbing, no gunshot wound that they could see.

BICKLEY: That is correct, Nancy. There is nothing outwardly, which is why this coroner`s autopsy result is crucial in determining this cause of death.

GRACE: Joining me right now, Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaas Kids Foundation. After the murder of his little girl, Polly Klaas, he has been a tireless advocate for victims. Marc, weigh in.

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, you know, the mother said that the little girl wouldn`t willingly go with a stranger. But I think what we have to -- people have to understand here is that there`s not a 5- year-old child on the face of the earth that is going to be able to withstand the advances of a determined predator.

Somebody could easily have stopped their car, grabbed that little child, thrown them in, and be gone within 15 seconds. And if nobody had seen them do that, they could possibly get away with the perfect crime. That leads me to tell you that it`s the simple lessons in these kinds of cases that have to be looked at. The simple lesson in this case is that you don`t leave your children unattended on the street.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to the lieutenant from the police department, he`s pretty positive that that is the clothing. It`s matched everything, the description, according to, you know...




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tireless search, a painful journey that started 11 days ago. Sunday, May 24th, Memorial Day weekend, Nevaeh first reported missing. Last seen riding a friend`s scooter at the Charlotte Arms Apartments. Monday, May 25th, an Amber Alert issued.

JENNIFER BUCHANAN, NEVAEH`S MOTHER: Almost 100 percent sure that she got snatched.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Searches begin. Jennifer Buchanan`s friend, George Kennedy, taken immediately in for questioning that night. The first of several vigils.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to pray for a miracle here today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tuesday the investigation centers on Kennedy, a nearby quarry becomes a focal point. Hundreds join the search.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because if this was my daughter missing, I`d want everybody to be out here looking for her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wednesday, May 27th. Nevaeh`s mother, Jennifer, makes another plea.

BUCHANAN: We`ll go as far as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last Thursday, the investigation shifts back to the apartment and a nearby campground where Nevaeh and her mother visited. Friday, May 29th a major twist in the case. Blood tests on George Kennedy`s knife show it is not Nevaeh`s.

Tuesday sheriff`s deputies hold their final daily briefing, saying the investigation will continue. Wednesday the reward jumps from $2,000 to $20,000. Thursday June 4th. The painful discovery. Nevaeh is found.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it could happen to anybody. But we don`t want it to happen to nobody else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The agony and pain is weighing on every (INAUDIBLE).


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Joining us tonight in a primetime exclusive, the fisherman who unwittingly ends the search for little Nevaeh. He`s out fishing with his father for a day of relaxation, and instead finds the child`s body.

Straight back to Guy Bickley. Mr. Bickley, have you ever fished there before?

GUY BICKLEY, DISCOVERED CHILD`S BODY; AT SITE WHERE REMAINS FOUND: No, I haven`t. I`ve just observed the place, and I`ve seen other cars and vehicles there fishing from time to time and this.

GRACE: So this is a local spot that a lot of people know about?

BICKLEY: Not really. It`s on a back road that I often take after dropping my son off to school. A lot of times I`ll take this back road, Dixon, back over to the roads that I take to finish getting home.

GRACE: A back road.

Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Sheryl McCollum is a crime analyst and director of "A Cold Case Squad." Dr. Marty Makary, physician and professor of public health. Attorney Bradford Cohen and Daniel Kane. Bradford out of Miami, Daniel out of Atlanta.

Bradford, it screams a local.


GRACE: No one just swooped in from another area and picked this child up on the street. Did you hear what he said about the back road?

COHEN: Yes. And as soon as I heard about the area that she was found, that was the first thing that came to mind, is that it was someone who`s local, someone who knows the area. When it`s a remote area like that that not a lot of people know about and she`s found on the banks, that does scream that it`s someone who`s familiar with the area, familiar with those roads. So they`re looking for, I would imagine, someone in that direct vicinity, 10 to 15 miles, around that area.

GRACE: To Daniel Kane, you`ve tried a lot of cases including defending homicide cases. This shows an incredible amount of cover-up after the murder. There is no way they`re going to be able to claim accident. That`s one defense straight down the tubes.

DANIEL KANE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It doesn`t appear to be an accident case.


KANE: Or at least one for defense. It`s the "I didn`t do it "or "the other fellow did it" defense.

GRACE: Now, Daniel, why do you agree that accident as a defense is not feasible?

KANE: Well, because you have a body that`s been concealed. It was -- there was a homicide and then the body was entombed on a river bank, which is concealing the fruits of the crime.

GRACE: Let me see, Daniel Kane and Bradford Cohen. Daniel, though, how many times have you heard the same old song, second verse same as the first, it was an accident and then I panicked, I panicked and I went and poured cement over a child`s body is not going to fly?

KANE: No, that`s not the appropriate defense in this case. If it was an accident, there`s normally flight, and you don`t have that in this case. You`ve got the body with no evidence of a homicide as of today, and then you have the concealment of the body entombed on the river bank. So it`s just not -- it`s not an accident case.

GRACE: Cohen?

COHEN: And it`s not even so much that it`s hidden. It`s the fact that they poured cement over the body, which goes further than just OK, it was an accident.

GRACE: Just hold on, gentlemen. I mean, I don`t know how you two go into court every day and defend this kind of a case. But you know what, that`s your burden to carry. But the thought of pouring thick wet cement onto a dead child`s face, her hair, her skin, her little clothes, this little girl set to start kindergarten in the fall, Nevaeh to our sources is dead at the hands of a killer.

To Sheryl McCollum, director of "A Cold Case Squad," Pine Lake PD. Sheryl, what now?

SHERYL MCCOLLUM, CRIME ANALYST, DIR. OF COLD CASE SQUAD AT PINE LAKE P.D.: They`re going to look for footprints. They`re going to look for tire tracks. They might even look for fingerprints on the guard rail. They`re going to look for the empty bag of mixture. They`re going to look for maybe even a clandestine campsite.

Nancy, this guy was familiar with this area. He drove that child seven miles, took her down the embankment, probably drowned her. Then put her in the grave that was already possibly dug and then covered her.

GRACE: No. I do not believe that he would have drowned a child where he could have been seen doing it.

MCCOLLUM: He knew he wouldn`t be seen.

GRACE: I think the killer killed her either in the car where he took her or in his home. What about it, Marc Klaas?

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: This is just discombobulating. The child could have died in any of a number of ways. It also tells you that this character had time on his hands and felt confident that he could take her down in, he could mix cement, he could pour the cement over her.

GRACE: Dig a grave.

KLAAS: I believe that they might even be able to trace the cement back to where it was purchased.

GRACE: Wise. You`re right about that.

Joining me right now from the National Association to Protect Children. You know her from being a star on "Little house on the Prairie." You remember Nelly Olsen. With me, Alison Arngrim.

Alison, as a child molestation victim yourself, I want to hear your views on this.

ALISON ARNGRIM, NATL. ASSN. TO PROTECT CHILDREN, SEXUAL MOLESTATION VICTIM: Well, this is a horrible story. And we always ask, you know, who dropped the ball? Who didn`t drop the ball in this case? There`s really no one in this story that I would leave a potted plant with let alone a child.

Yes, you`re talking about the mother had all these friends who were registered and in fact on probation sex offenders. The mother was on probation herself, just gotten out of prison for home invasion, which is not shoplifting. I believe she did not have custody of the child. The grandmother did.

Everyone knew that all of these people were on probation. In fact, they were all violating their probation by being around this child. And no one did anything. People believe that when they hear that people are on probation or registered as sex offenders this means someone`s watching them.

No, it doesn`t. No one was watching the store during any of this. Everyone in that building knew the child was allowed to come and go unattended because she was, quote, "mature," and no one did anything.

GRACE: To Sean Henady, the founder of 3 View Search Services. Sean, what do they need to do regarding this scene, and how do you believe the searchers got the evidence they got so far?


SEAN HENADY, FOUNDER, 3 VIEW SEARCH SEARCHES: So far, Nancy, to have an individual carry a victim seven miles, that is not -- that is definitely a premeditated act. Most people are just going to dump an individual very quickly. They`re not going to stay on scene very long. But to go seven miles, dump an individual, dig a hole and cover them up with concrete, that`s so premeditated on that.

The searchers or the evidence technicians are looking for the tire tracks. They`re looking for the mixed bags of concrete. They`re looking in the river. These divers are looking for the river -- in the river for the tools used to dig the hole for the -- maybe a barrel or the buckets to mix the concrete in.

Was it just poured in the hole, or was it just dumped in the water to mix the concrete? They`re looking for the tools that created the scene as well as any article related to the subject responsible.

GRACE: Everyone, on a happy note, at your request, photos of the twins, now 19 months. And I will always believe if it were not for your thoughts and prayers we would not be here today.

There`s their new shoes we just got at Target. Pink and blue. There`s Lucy insisting on wearing my moccasins. And John David, we go through a book and say flower, flower, that`s the first time out in the yard they went up and smelled a flower. They made the connection.

There`s Lucy with a neighbor dog, Mickey. And she did the same thing when she saw the flower after reading about it. She`s a star. John David, that was on his 18-month birthday. Lucy`s swim hat. John David, swim hat, in his pajamas.

There they are. I`m trying to teach them the alphabet so we can get a jump start on the whole kindergarten thing. They love books. Here we are at a park here in New York. Lucy is glam. There`s daddy.

Lucy made a friend and the little friend came up to mommy and said why did you her diaper on backwards?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have evidence experts there. You have the sheriff there. You have Michigan state police, the FBI. All acting on a tip. They had the helicopter from the law enforcement over the river. They came up. They found a child`s body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A father and son out on a fishing trip made the gruesome discovery. They said they noticed a foul odor near the river and they followed the smell to a cement block.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can tell you that there are two roads that parallel -- you`re probably seeing them. That parallel the river in that area. It`s about two, three miles west of where this girl lived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re going to have to painstakingly remove the concrete during the autopsy to determine cause of death. It was apparently a shallow grave where she was placed in this just a few feet off the river bank, and they said what appeared to be concrete had been poured over the body.

BICKLEY: That`s a rural area along the river, the actual burial site.


GRACE: Straight out to psychologist and author of "Love Prescription," Dr. Jeff Gardere joining us.

Jeff, we`ve seen a lot of homicides. We`ve seen homicides every day. But we don`t see the homicide of a 5-year-old girl and the killer going out to a river bank, digging a shallow grave, lying the child in it, and pouring wet cement over her.

So what is the thinking of this killer?

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR OF "LOVE PRESCRIPTION": Well, this is of course someone who perhaps is a cold-blooded psychopathic killer. But analytically, looking at this, Nancy, using the cement is a way for them to even cover up how heinous this crime is from their own consciousness.

One thing that we do know about this is that this individual perhaps is a person who not only hates children but is some sort of a sex offender. I think that we can make an educated guess about.

GRACE: To Sheryl McCollum, director of "A Cold Case Squad," Pine Lake PD.

Sheryl, when it is a random murder, typically the body will just be discarded out in an open field, in a dumpster.

MCCOLLUM: Exactly.

GRACE: But when you know your victim that is when I have noticed the killer takes great pains to hide the body.

MCCOLLUM: No question. This guy knew the area, Nancy. I`m telling you, he took his time because he knew that he could. This was not somebody who snatched a child, harmed her, pulled over to the side, and threw her down the embankment.

He took her down the embankment. He dug a grave. He did a mixture of cement or concrete and poured it over her, then discarded all the materials, went back up and drove off. He was very culpable. He knew the area. He was not in a hurry.

GRACE: I want to go to Dr. Marty Makary, physician and professor of public health out at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Makary, it`s great to see you again. Dr. Makary, how would the cement poured over the skin, the face, the hair of the little girl in any way deter getting clues, getting evidence?

DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS: Well, it could actually, Nancy, act as a sort of preservative. You know, water is a terrible force to sort of detract from evidence. But as forensic medical examiners look over the next few days, they`re going to be looking for characteristic fractures, for bruises, for choke signs, for grip marks, any signs that could indicate the mechanism of how she might have died.

GRACE: When you say choke signs, what do you mean?

MAKARY: Characteristically, there can be bruises in the carotid vessels around the neck and the trachea that are path o`pneumatic which means they could only and absolutely indicate a strangulation around the neck.

GRACE: Would those bruises, those hematomas still be there 11 days later?

MAKARY: Absolutely. They would stay there for a matter of a few months. So they`re still within a window where they can get some very good evidence. And the dental records really are not going to nail it.

For 100 percent certainty they`re going to use DNA because 99 percent is not good enough if you`re looking at the death penalty. It`s not good enough for the family. And it`s not good enough to really get closure on what happened.

GRACE: But, Doctor, only one person has the same exact dental x-rays.

MAKARY: Well, it theoretically is going to be one of those situations where you`re going to get every piece of scientific data possible.

GRACE: Right.

MAKARY: . if you`re going to go all the way.

GRACE: I want to go back to the scene. Standing by, Rupa Mikkilineni.

Rupa, what more do we know about the clues that have been left behind?

RUPA MIKKILINENI, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, right now we know that the police are sifting through the crime scene area. The banks of the river, the water. Trying to look for any little piece of evidence. Anything that could tie the perpetrator to the crime scene and to the crime.

What we also know is -- and what the sheriff`s office has been leaning toward, this possibly being more than one individual. Although no one is sure.

GRACE: Whoa. Hold on. Hold on. Police, FBI think that there might be more than one killer involved?

MIKKILINENI: They have not ruled out that possibility.

GRACE: OK. I`m not quite seeing how that could be. Why do you say that?

Sheryl McCollum, how could that be?

MCCOLLUM: Well, Nancy, it might be a situation where, again, one person was there digging the grave, getting ready for her to come back. They could have been talking on the cell phone.

This person, or persons if that`s what they`re thinking, it looks like it could have been a team effort because, again, you`ve got a lot of material there that one person.

GRACE: So not only do you have a killer, you`ve got someone willing to help.


GRACE: . hide a 5-year-old`s body.

Bradford Cohen, Miami, Daniel Kane, Atlanta. Daniel Kane, that jurisdiction does not have the death penalty. If the offender is caught, what are they looking at?

KANE: They`re looking at life in prison or life in prison without patrol.

GRACE: Cohen?

COHEN: He`s exactly right. I can`t add anything to that. I mean.

GRACE: Except throw in a insanity defense. You may do your time in a hospital.

COHEN: Yes. I mean, the likelihood -- I mean, if it`s a registered sex offender, it`s someone who`s been prosecuted for sex offenses before, and now -- I don`t know if that`s going to be possible to now raise an insanity defense in this crime.

GRACE: I agree. Agree. Right now, everyone, "CNN Heroes."


ANNOUNCER: This is "CNN Heroes."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He shoves me to the ground and covered my mouth with his hand. When the rape ordeal was over, he (INAUDIBLE) some leaf and wiped me.

BETTY MAKONI, PROTECTING THE POWERLESS: In Zimbabwe young girls are raped because of the myth that rape can cure HIV and AIDS. Ten days a day is the average. They need an advocate to help them break silence.

My name is Betty Makoni. I founded an organization that erases guilt from abuse. I was sexually abused at 6 years and also lost my mother. After my mother died from domestic violence, I told myself that no guilt or a woman could suffer the same again.

I started (INAUDIBLE) to provide a safe place for girls to heal from abuse. When a girl gets to the village, she is provided with the emergency medication, (INAUDIBLE) in school. It`s where they`re counseling. That gives them the confidence to transform from victims to leaders.

This is the job I have always wanted to do. It gives me fulfillment and in girls I see myself every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have evidence experts there. You have the sheriff there, You have Michigan state police, the FBI all acting on a tip. They had the helicopter from the law enforcement over the river. They came up. They found a child`s body.


ANNOUNCER: "CNN Heroes" is sponsored by.


GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and more important the people who touched our lives.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you sure the baby`s not breathing, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty sure. I don`t know.


GRACE: Stabbed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While sitting in their home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris, did you kill your wife?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anybody could be a sex offender.

GRACE: I just don`t understand it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Billy Bob Thornton`s daughter is in the trouble with the law. Amanda Brumfield has been charged with child neglect in connection with the death of a 1-year-old toddler in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This sort of thing doesn`t happen here in Faria Beach, California. Many rich and famous live nearby. But on a Wednesday night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Around 10:30, someone went inside the gated community and fatally stabbing Brock Husted and pregnant wife Davina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Coleman had an affair.

GRACE: All those jurors need to hear is this potential motive, which is, you know, a mistress in the background and that`s it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s toast and he ought to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The investigation continues into what happened to 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her mother was on probation for home invasion.

GRACE: Home invasion? A lady being part of a home invasion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jennifer Buchanan`s been criticized for defending her relationships with convicted sex offenders.

GRACE: A child`s body allegedly has found in those river currents. Is this the discovery of little 5-year-old Nevaeh and whoever did this to her better run and hide.


GRACE: Let`s stop to remember Army Private Matthew Brown, 20, Zelienople, Pennsylvania. Told friends and family he wanted them to wear colorful shirts to his funeral. Loved football with friends, computer, video games, volunteer work, charity runs, dreamed of college. Leaves behind parents James and Sandy, two sisters, two brothers,

Matthew Brown, American hero.

Thanks to our guests but especially to you for being with us and a special good night from a Florida friend of the show, little crime fighter, Jubilee. After Jubilee`s birth, her mother Miranda never missed our show as she sat by her daughter`s side in NICU after a tumor scare.

Today, Jubilee is healthy and happy and one of our biggest fans.

Everyone, tonight, God bless baby Nevaeh.

I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.