Sidne-Nichole Buchanan was 27 years old the day of her disappearance, July 27, 2019. She had gone to the Wiz Khalifa Concert in Tinley Park, Illinois. She was last seen at the Hollywood Casino Ampitheatre at 19100 Ridgeland Ave, Tinley Park, Illinois and was reported missing 2 days later, July 29.
Authorities immediately involved the FBI in Merrillville, Indiana and believed she had been kidnapped and in danger. They began their search and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her return. Evidence showed that Sidne-Nichole had returned to Indiana after the concert against her will. Her mother had spoken to her on a video chat from the concert that night and at that time, she seemed fine.
Sidne-Nichole was a dance instructor at Gary's Beach Front Dance School in Gary Indiana teaching dance. She had a large and close family and had children.
She was described as 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 135 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a purple tank top dress, denim jacket and clear wedge shoes.
James McGhee, 38, of Gary was charged with First Degree Murder and held without bond. A friend of his turned witness was given immunity in exchange for his cooperation. The witness said that James and Nichole went to the concert. The day after the concert McGhee called him and said 'I beat her up bad'. James wanted the witness to help him clean up the apartment in Gary, Indiana. When the witness entered the apartment the place was in disarray with furniture tossed across the apartment, there was blood on mattresses in both bedrooms and then saw what was a body concealed in black plastic bags. The witness refused to help clean the apartment and stayed outside as McGhee took the body out in a suitcase, The witness assisted in dumping the body. They were driving on the Interstate 80/94 and excited the 394's Danville exit as McGhee looked for a place to hide the body. They hid her body in the Thornton Lansing Road Nature Preserve at 440 Thornton Lansing Rd, Thornton, IL . The witness later took the investigators and showed Detectives where the body was.
James McGhee was arrested August 12, 2019 for her murder.
Authorities believe James McGhee took Sidne-Nichole back to his apartment on the 1900 block of Burr Street in Gary, Indiana after the concert where he beat her to death sometime before sunrise.
It didn't start there for James. In 2017 he only received three years probation in a plea deal after kicking and punching his girlfriend who was pregnant at the time with quadruplets, causing her to lose three of those babies. Police later found her and her 6 year old son in the bathroom of a fireworks stand where James worked. Initially he was charged with kidnapping the pregnant woman, and that charge was later dropped.
October 19, 2020 the judge released James to home confinement with an ankle monitor because the state took too long to bring him to trial. Indiana’s Criminal Rule 4 requires defendants to be released from jail if a trial is pushed back more than 180 countable days, or six months, unless it’s due to the defendant’s delays or a backed-up court calendar. He had requested a speedy trial.
VIDEO OF THAT NIGHT
Sidne Nichole Buchanan March 5 1992 July 28 2019
Sidne's services were held for family on December 7, 2019 at 11:00 at Christ Baptist Church, 4700 E. 7th Avenue in Gary.
Our deepest sympathies for all of Sidne's family, friends and loved ones. We continue to pray for swift justice in Sidne's untimely death.