Family and friends place stuffed toys at a makeshift memorial at the 2900 block of Waverly after finding out that the charred remains of a little girl found in a home Sunday are those of missing 5-year-old Mariha Trenice Smith on Friday, July 29, 2011 in Detroit. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)

   

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The burned remains of the child found in a house on Waverly Street is 5 year old Mariha Smith

DETROIT (Tell Us Detroit) - On Friday July 29, the Detroit Police Department received the results of the DNA testing from the Michigan State Police crime lab. The results determined that the burned remains of the child found in a burned out house on the city's westside is Mariha Smith.

Earlier in the week firefighters found the girl's chared body on a mattress of the burning two-family flat about a mile from her home.

The Detroit Police Department began investigating the case involving the arson fire at the home located in the 2900 block of Waverly. The Southeast Michigan Crimes Against Children Task Force also began searching for the 5-year-old who had gone missing from a home located in the 3800 Burlingame since Sunday morning.

A few hours before police were called, one mile away from the home, remains of an unidentified child's body was pulled from an abandoned house that had been set on fire by arson.

An autopsy determined her death has been ruled a homicide. Wayne County spokesman Dennis Niemiec says Monday the burned body appears to have been about 5 to 7 years old. Niemiec says the girl's skull also was crushed. Detroit police refuse to link the missing girl to the burned body until the return of the DNA test.

"Right now, we can't bring her back," said Diane Henry, Mariha's grandmother. "Mariha was a happy baby. She was just a happy, pretty baby. She was a special child."

She reported Mariah missing at noon Sunday, prompting an Amber Alert. During a lie detector test, she told police she was drunk and passed out when her daughter was allegedly kidnapped. The front window was open, and a kidnapper would have had to move a fan and climb over a coach where her mother slept to grab the girl.

Konesha Smith and her four children had been staying at Quanita Smith's house for the past couple of months. Mariah's siblings are 4, 2 and 6 months, and only the 4-year-old understands she went missing, said an aunt, Shanicqua Payne, 23.

Police do not have any suspects, Sgt. Eren Stephens said. Investigators are looking for a man seen purchasing 41 cents of gasoline at a BP station two blocks from the burned out house about 10 minutes before the fire Sunday. Surveillance footage of the man was made public Thursday.

Police said Thursday a man videotaped buying gasoline at a neighborhood gas station was a "person of interest" in the torching of the vacant two-family flat.

The man made a purchase about 7:45 a.m. Sunday, and police asked for the public's help in identifying him.

The Detroit Police Departmentís Homicide unit will continue a through investigation into the death of Mariha Smth. If anyone should have any information on the Arson case, please call the Homicide unit at 596-2260 or Crime Stoppers (anonymously) at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

 

 

 

 
   

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