Body of Missing 11-Year-Old Found

The search for 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham, who went missing six days ago, ended tragically on Tuesday when her body was discovered in the Trinity River in Texas, according to local authorities. The young girl had disappeared last Thursday, failing to board her school bus near her home in Livingston.

Don McDougal, the last person seen with the girl, is anticipated to be charged with capital murder in connection with the case, according to Polk County officials. McDougal, 42, had recently become acquainted with Cunningham’s family and resided behind the home where the girl lived with her father and grandmother.

Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons expressed his deep sorrow at a news conference, stating, “My heart aches with this news. I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to everyone who knew, cared for, and loved Audrii.”

Polk County District Attorney Shelly Bush-Sitton confirmed that an arrest warrant for capital murder would be issued against McDougal, who was already in custody on an unrelated charge and was considered a person of interest in Cunningham’s disappearance. “I understand that this is a very difficult time for Audrii’s family and for our community,” the prosecutor said.

According to Sheriff Lyons, McDougal had occasionally escorted Cunningham to her bus stop and sometimes drove her to school when she missed the bus. McDougal also had a criminal record involving another young girl over a decade ago, but was not registered as a sex offender.

The investigation into the case continues, with the cause of death yet to be revealed as officials await the results of an autopsy. Sheriff Lyons stated that cellphone analysis, video footage, and information from McDougal had led investigators to the tragic discovery. “We are still processing mounds and mounds of information and data,” he added.