Body of Missing Girl, 3, Found
Authorities believe remains belong to Breeann Rodriguez
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2011 8:08 AM CDT
An undated photo provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows Breeann Rodriguez.   (AP Photo/National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
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(Newser) – Remains believed to be a 3-year-old Missouri girl who went missing more than a week ago were found yesterday near a series of ditches where authorities say a neighbor is suspected of dumping her body after suffocating her with a plastic bag. A Missouri State Highway Patrol officer searching by boat found the body of Breeann Rodriguez near the floodway ditches about eight miles southeast of the girl's family's home in Senath, according to a statement. The girl's parents were notified shortly after she was found.

On Saturday, authorities announced they had arrested a neighbor, Shawn Morgan. Morgan, 43, told an agent that he found the child on a ladder in his backyard pool, grabbed her, and carried her inside his home, where he suffocated her with a white plastic trash bag. Morgan said it "felt like it took an hour for the girl to die," according to the statement. He did not say why he killed the child. He has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and tampering with evidence.