Man charged with murder of missing Gary woman Sidne-Nichole Buchanan, body found in Lansing forest preserve

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- A man has been charged with murder in the death of missing Gary woman Sidne-Nichole Buchanan whose body was found in a Lansing forest preserve Monday.

The FBI announced that James McGhee, 38, of Gary has been charged with murder in the 27-year-old's death. He was taken into custody Wednesday evening, the FBI said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner formally identified the body found in Thornton-Lansing Road Forest Preserve as Buchanan Wednesday, following an autopsy conducted Tuesday. The cause and manner of her death is still pending.

The FBI identified McGhee as a person of interest Wednesday morning, saying they believe he was the last person Buchanan was known to be with at a concert in Tinley Park on July 27.

"She was an incredible, passionate person, incredible heart, incredible smile, infectious laugh," said Joe Starnes, friend. "I'm just going to miss her a whole lot."

Friends said Buchanan was a mother of two and a dance instructor in Gary who worked with children. In a Facebook post, family members said she was, "full of ambition, altruism, passion and love. Sidne was a dynamic person. She cared deeply about her family and friends. Sidne was loved by many."

"Very beautiful person, beautiful soul," Starnes said. "More than anything, just to know how kind she was."

The FBI said they believe Buchanan was kidnapped, and taken back to Indiana against her will before she was killed. Investigators said her body was later dumped in the forest preserve about 20 minutes away from Gary.

McGhee's arrest comes a year after he pleaded guilty to felony intimidation related to allegations in 2017 that he beat and later kidnapped his then-pregnant girlfriend, who told authorities she miscarried three of her four quadruplets.

Under the plea agreement with Lake County, Indiana, prosecutors, McGhee was given a three year suspended sentence and placed on probation, which he was still under at the time of his arrest.
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