The remains of three-year-old Breeann Rodriguez have been found by police. Authorities say that her body was found near a series of floodway ditches eight miles away from her family’s home in Senath, Missouri on Tuesday by a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer that was searching by boat. This ends a 10-day investigation into finding the little girl that has left her small town devastated because her alleged murderer lived just down the street.
Dunklin Country Sherriff Bob Holder issued the following statement after he found Breeann, according to the Associated Press: “We appreciate all the help and support from the community in what has been a difficult time for all. We are saddened to confirm our fears but glad we have been able to recover her for her parents.”
Her neighbor, 43-year-old Shawn Dale Morgan, confessed to suffocating the little girl, according to the Probable Cause Affidavit filed in court earlier this week. The husband and father of three allegedly told police that he saw the little girl standing near the pool ladder in his backyard when he went to the little girl, took her and carried her inside his house.
He would then take a plastic trash bag and put it over her mouth and nose, suffocating her. He allegedly told police that it seemingly felt like “an hour” for Breeann to die. After she passed away trying to fight it, he said he threw the girl in the same bag he suffocated her with and threw her in the flood ditches alongside Highway 164.
Breeann was last seen on Aug. 6 with her 5-year-old brother bike riding on her pink bike in front of her home. Her brother told her he was going to go inside to get a drink, but when he came back outside, his little sister was missing and was never again seen. On Aug. 12, Morgan was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and tampering with physical evidence. The latter charge was given to him because he threw the girl’s bike away to hide evidence of her disappearance. Police later found the training wheels that her father helped put together and he noted that they belonged to his daughter.
Morgan appeared at his first court date on Tuesday and is expected to make another appearance at the end of the month.