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Mom says she's `innocent' in girl's disappearance

MONROE, June 7, 2009 (AP): As investigators await test results on a child's body found by a southeastern Michigan river, the mother of a missing 5-year-old girl says she's ``completely innocent.''

Monroe County authorities said Sunday they were pursuing leads as they waited for DNA test results from a state police lab to confirm the body is that of Nevaeh Buchanan. It was discovered Thursday next to the River Raisin.

``I'm completely innocent,'' Jennifer Buchanan told the Detroit Free Press. ``I didn't have anything to do with my daughter's disappearance. I don't do drugs. I hardly ever drink. I don't owe anybody any money. I have hardly any enemies.

``I don't understand who would come up and take my child.''

Police haven't announced any suspects in the disappearance.

Nevaeh's grandmother, Sherry Buchanan, got custody of Nevaeh after Jennifer Buchanan was convicted for breaking into homes to support a drug habit.

The three were sharing a Monroe apartment when Nevaeh disappeared May 24, 2009.

``I feel like everyone has a lot of negativity about me,'' Buchanan said. ``They don't personally know me. ... I feel like everyone is putting me in the category of ... parents who actually did harm their children. ... It's very frustrating.''

Buchanan said she last saw Nevaeh when the girl left the apartment to visit an 8-year-old friend.

``Mom, I'm going upstairs to ... play a game,'' the mother quoted her daughter as saying.

``I trusted her enough for her to actually go,'' Buchanan said. She said she became concerned after two other young girls came by the apartment and she began an increasingly frantic search for her daughter.

She said her heart sank when she found the purple and green scooter Nevaeh often rode.

``My stomach went into knots,'' Buchanan said. ``It's like a nightmare.''






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