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Don Steven McDougal, a family friend of Audrii Cunningham, is accused of capital murder when the corpse of a Texas child was discovered

According to court records filed in Polk County, a family friend who was suspected of murdering 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham of Texas is now charged with capital murder. It has been mandated that Don Steven McDougal be detained without bail.

According to a criminal complaint, “cell phone data and video footage places McDougal at three locations of interest,” including near the Trinity River, where the small girl’s corpse was discovered, CNN said.

How things happened
Investigators claim that on the morning Cunningham vanished, McDougal consented to drive her to a school bus stop. But she never showed up. According to the lawsuit, a sheriff’s deputy provided proof that “McDougal lied about his whereabouts and activities on the day of February 15, 2024.”

Cunningham’s father had a friendship with McDougal. He sometimes drove Cunningham to school, and he resided in a trailer behind the property.

According to court records, Cunninghan’s corpse was found with a big rock wrapped around it. The lawsuit said that “the rope used was consistent with rope that was observed in McDougal’s vehicle on a traffic stop two days prior.”

McDougal was taken into custody last week on unrelated counts of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. They allegedly offered him “several opportunities to cooperate” in their search for Cunningham.

McDougal has been charged before, dating back to the early 2000s. In addition to several other offenses, he has been charged with luring a minor in Brazoria County in 2008, attacking a family member, and eluding arrest in Liberty County.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office issued an Amber alert for Cunningham on February 16. “On February 15, 2024, at about 7:00 AM, Audreyi was last seen in the vicinity of her home in the 100 block of Lakeside Drive in Polk County, Texas. According to a news statement posted on Facebook, Audrii was supposed to board the school bus at her local bus stop. Nevertheless, school administrators informed the Sheriff’s Office that neither Audrii nor the bus arrived at the school.

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