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Bianca's father, D'Andre Lane, said he was driving his silver 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis in Detroit, Michigan on December 2, 2011, when the vehicle was carjacked at Brush and Custer Streets at 9:45 a.m. Bianca was strapped in her car seat in the back of the car at the time. Lane said while he was driving, a black man driving a small red passenger car with possible front-end damage told him his own car's taillights were broken. He pulled to the side of the road to check them, and then another man approached him, threatened him with a gun, and drove off in Lane's car, with Bianca still inside it. The thief is described as a 25- to 30-year-old African-American male, about 6'0 and 185 pounds and unshaven, wearing a black shirt, black pants and a brown and black baseball cap. A suspect sketch is posted below this case summary.
Lane didn't call 911 himself after the carjacking. Instead, at 9:40 a.m., he called a friend from his cellular phone and told his friend what happened, and the friend called 911. Authorities found Lane's vehicle only about ten minutes later, still running, parked in an alley between Euclid and Philadelphia. This is less than a mile from where it was reported stolen. There was no sign of Bianca at the scene; she has never been heard from again and an extensive search of the city turned up no sign of her.
Bianca's parents were separated at the time of her disappearance, but were on good terms. They had known each other since childhood. Lane lived in the 19300 block of Mitchell, on the west side of Detroit. Bianca lived with her mother, Banika Jones, and her older sister, but both girls were staying with Lane on the day Bianca disappeared. At the time of the reported carjacking, Lane had dropped Bianca's sister and the girls' older cousin off at school and was driving to Banika's home to pick up some of Bianca's clothes and belongings so she could stay with him until Christmas. He has seven children by different women, and no known history of abusing any of the children. He has a criminal history, but prior to Bianca's disappearance he hadn't been arrested in eight years. A photo of Lane is posted below this case summary.
After he reported her abduction, Lane was taken into custody on an unrelated charge of violating the protective order his ex-wife had against him. He was released three days later. Authorities questioned him extensively and gave him a polygraph, which he failed. They searched his house four times, with his consent, finding "a significant amount of evidence." A cadaver dog detected the scent of human remains in a bedroom at Lane's house, as well as in his car and on Bianca's car seat and her blanket. The dog was able to pick Lane's car out of a lot of 32 vehicles. Less than two weeks after the reported carjacking, investigators told the media they expected to file criminal charges against Lane in his daughter's disappearance.
In March 2012, Lane was charged with first-degree felony murder, first-degree child abuse and being a habitual offender. Investigators believe he beat Bianca to death the night before her disappearance after she wet the bed. Banika hadn't packed any diapers when she sent Bianca to stay with him, because Bianca was excited about getting new underwear and no longer wanted to wear diapers. She knew he had spanked Bianca before while potty-training her, but said she had no reason to think her daughter was unsafe around her father.
Lane's girlfriend, who was at the house on the night of December 1, heard him yelling at Bianca and hitting her with a paddle, and Bianca screaming. Lane's fifteen-year-old nephew, who was staying at the house that night, witnessed the paddling himself at 2:00 a.m. Lane himself admitted he had done it, but said he hadn't really hurt her. The paddle was a stick with one end wrapped in a towel and duct tape. Lane further stated that after the paddling, at 1:00 a.m., Bianca fell out of bed and hit her head. He said he was unable to sleep that night and after Bianca woke up at 1:00 a.m., she stayed awake with him until 3:00. In the morning, he said, Bianca seemed "a bit out of it" and was stumbling around and kept "nodding out," and he repeatedly tapped the paddle against her buttocks to keep her awake.
Bianca's father was found guilty of felony murder and first-degree child abuse in October 2012; the mandatory sentence is life in prison without parole. He maintains his innocence. Bianca's body has never been found, and her mother remains hopeful that she is alive. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
Left: Carjacking suspect sketch;
Right: D'Andre Lane