Disturbing Evidence Found in Case of Missing Michigan 5-Year-Old Nevaeh

Police find blood, hairs and photos of girls in "person of interest" motel room.

May 28, 2009, 11:01 AM

May 28, 2009 — -- A bloody towel, a sharped-edged tool stained with blood and photos of young girls were among the evidence confiscated from the motel room and van of George Kennedy, a "person of interest" in the case of missing Michigan 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan, according to news reports.

Monroe County Police spokesman Major Dan Motylinski would not confirm the report by ABC's Detroit affiliate WXYZ, which saw the warrant, about what was confiscated from Kennedy. Motylinksi told ABCNews.com, however, that "whatever was recovered was sent to the lab."

Monroe County Sheriff Tilman Crutchfield said Kennedy is one of several persons of interest in the case, and stopped short of calling him a suspect.

"He is strictly that," Crutchfield said in a press conference today. "We have no arrest solicitations pending. A child is still missing. We are looking in all directions."

Nevaeh, which is heaven spelled backwards, disappeared Sunday night from a parking lot near the Monroe, Mich., apartment complex where she lived with her mother, Jennifer.

Kennedy, a friend of Nevaeh's mother and a registered sex offender, was taken into custody on an unrelated parole violation.

In 1998 Kennedy, 39, was charged with a felony for having sex with a girl under 16. That charge was later dismissed, court records show.

In addition to the 1998 charge, court records show that by 2002 Kennedy had been charged with a home invasion and accosting a 13-year-old girl. Kennedy's former court-appointed lawyer Peter Sickels told ABCNews.com that the charges were combined in a plea deal that allowed him to be released from prison in 2003.

Police have received more than 200 tips about the missing girl, and hundreds of volunteers joined police and FBI agents to search for Nevaeh.

Police searched a nearby quarry with divers, sonar equipment and cadaver dogs, Crutchfield said.

"We are continuing to search," Motylinski said. "We are following all leads."

Investigators have checked all 180 units of the apartment complex where the girl lived and all residents there have been interviewed, Crutchfield said. Police plan to return to the complex to search again.

Standing with Nevaeh's father, Shane Hinojosa, her grandmother, Sherry Buchanan, spoke to reporters Wednesday outside the girl's apartment building. She clutched some of Nevaeh's toys as she spoke.

"I know she's missing all her animals," Buchanan said.

Nevaeh's Family Bands Together in Search

Buchanan said Nevaeh's mother had been in and out of the apartment all day, but the windows were open and "if Nevaeh would've yelled, Jennifer would have heard her."

Hinojosa, who lives in Toledo, Ohio, told the Associated Press he is risking arrest by being in Monroe County since there is a warrant out for his arrest for failure to pay child support, but the family is setting aside their differences to help find Nevaeh.

"I'm here to find my little girl, dead or alive," he said.

The southern Michigan neighborhood held a candle-light vigil for the little girl on Wednesday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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