Missing Mom With ‘Infectious Laugh’ Is Found Slain — and Man Who Beat Pregnant Girlfriend Is Charged
James McGhee was arrested Wednesday and charged with murdering Sidne-Nichole Buchanan
An Indiana man accused of killing a young mom whose body was found Monday in a forest was captured Wednesday and charged with murder, the FBI confirms to PEOPLE.
James McGhee, 38, of Gary, was arrested on a warrant Wednesday and charged with the murder of mother of two Sidne-Nichole Buchanan, 27, also of Gary, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office tells PEOPLE.
McGhee was taken into custody on I-80/94 in Hammond, Indiana, at 5:15 CST by the FBI and Indiana State Police, shortly after the FBI put out an alert asking the public to help locate him, Public Affairs Specialist Chris Bavender of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division, tells PEOPLE.
McGhee allegedly fatally beat Buchanan at his apartment after they attended a Wiz Khalifa and French Montana concert in Tinley Park, Illinois, on July 27, The Times of Northwest Indiana reports.
He then allegedly dismembered her body and dumped her remains in a forest preserve in Cook County, Illinois, say authorities, The Times reports.
After Buchanan’s family reported her missing on July 29, authorities said they believe she had been kidnapped and taken against her will, the FBI said, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“Our investigation has revealed that Sidne was last seen in Illinois but we have evidence that she was in Indiana after that. The presumption is she was taken across state lines against her will until we find evidence to the contrary,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Mike Peasley said, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
On Monday, Buchanan’s body was found in the Thornton-Lansing Road Nature Preserve, the FBI said in a statement.
McGhee allegedly told a friend he “lost it,” The Times reports.
Buchanan’s cause of death will be determined pending test results, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
McGhee’s arrest came while he was on probation after pleading guilty to assaulting his pregnant ex-girlfriend in 2017, court documents show, CBS Chicago reports.
Pregnant with quadruplets, the woman lost three of her four unborn children after McGhee pulled a knife on her and threatened to kill her before kicking her in the face and stomach when she threatened to leave him, court records show, CBS Chicago reports.
McGhee is being held in the Lake County jail. He has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
He is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Friday.
In the meantime, Buchanan’s friends and family are mourning her loss. In a heartbreaking Facebook post on Monday, Buchanan’s family remembered her for her “ambition, altruism, passion and love. Sidne was a dynamic person. She cared deeply about her family and friends. Sidne was loved by many.”
“She was an incredible, passionate person, incredible heart, incredible smile, infectious laugh,” her friend, Joe Starnes, told local ABC affiliate WLS “I’m just going to miss her a whole lot.”