Resentment builds for frustrated Monroe County families as high-profile cases go unsolved

Posted: 5:16 PM, Aug 09, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-12 23:36:49-04

One down and two to go.

That’s the thinking in Monroe where the high profile murder case of Chelsea Bruck took a major step to being solved with an arrest and confession by Daniel Clay.

Two older cases remain unsolved: the murder of 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan and the car bombing of Attorney Erik Chappell.

Nevaeh disappeared on Memorial Day weekend in 2009. Her body was found almost 2 weeks later encased in cement along the banks of the River Rasin. The autopsy showed she inhaled dust and dirt indicating she was buried alive.

Early on, two men were named as suspects, George Kennedy and Roy Smith.  They were convicted sex offenders and friends of Nevaeh’s mother. Both were cleared and are back living in the area.

The Monroe County Sheriff leading the investigation now says a solid suspect has been identified and is in prison on another case.

Friends and family of Nevaeh think they know who it might be say that this was not a random murder, but would like some answers.

The five-year anniversary of the car bombing of Attorney Erik Chappell is next month. He also says a strong suspect has been identified with physical and circumstantial evidence, but the feds handling the case won’t issue charges. 

His suspect is a man who was on the other side of a divorce case. Chappell represented the wife.

On one of the anniversaries someone put a commercial explosive tube into their mailbox. It was found by his two daughters. It did not explode. Surveillance video from their house did not show who did it.

Even though they live in fear daily, Grant Chappell who is now 18 and entering the University of Michigan this fall in Biology wants to become a trauma surgeon because he lived through the car bombing.

Police in both cases say they have open and active investigations.