DNA Confirms Burned Body Is Missing Girl


DETROIT, July 30 (UPI) — Police say DNA testing has confirmed a burned body found in Detroit was that of a missing 5-year-old girl.

The charred remains of Mariha Smith, 5, were found July 24 in an abandoned house, not long after she had last been seen, the Detroit Free Press reported. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the girl died of asphyxiation before she was set on fire.

Konesha Smith, Mariha’s mother, told police she had passed out after drinking with friends at her home. When she woke up, Mariha was missing.

Family and friends had been searching for the girl all week until police confirmed Friday the burned body was in fact Mariha’s.

“It hurt. We didn’t want to believe it.” said Desiree Dixon, who was in foster care with Mariha’s mother.

Police said they had made no arrests. They were looking for a man who bought 41 cents worth of gasoline at a nearby filling station 10 minutes before Mariha’s body was found.

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