NewsTexas tragedy unfolds as missing 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham found in river

Texas tragedy unfolds as missing 11‑year-old Audrii Cunningham found in river

Texas tragedy unfolds as missing 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham found in river
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3:48 AM EST, February 21, 2024

Audrii Cunningham was an 11-year-old who went out to catch a bus in the small town of Livingston, Texas, last Thursday but never got on. Immediately after the girl's disappearance, an Amber Alert was sent, and one trace of her was a small red "Hello Kitty" backpack.

During the search for a "person of interest," 42-year-old Don Steven McDougal was identified as a friend of Audria's father, who lives close to the family. McDougal was supposed to take the girl to school occasionally. He was arrested Friday on an unrelated case of aggravated assault charges, the sheriff's office said.

Now McDougal is the prime suspect in Audria's death. Unfortunately, her body was found in the Trinity River on Tuesday, according to Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons at a press conference.

Polk County District Attorney Shelly Sitton provided more information on the next steps in the investigation. She said appropriate arrest warrants for McDougal are being prepared. "Based on all of the evidence that law enforcement has collected, they are in the process of preparing the appropriate arrest warrants. At this time, we believe the appropriate arrest warrant is going to be for capital murder in the death of Audrii Cunningham. He is still in jail under an unrelated felony charge."

Shelly said she couldn't talk about whether Audrii Cunningham was murdered.

Sources: NBC News, CNN

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