Entries in Shawn Morgan (2)


Body of Missing 3-Year-Old Breeann Rodriguez Found

Comstock/Thinkstock(DUNKIN COUNTY, Mo.) -- Authorities have found the body of missing 3-year-old Breeann Rodriguez in Dunklin County, Mo. after an exhaustive search that began when the young girl went missing Aug. 6.

The young girl's body was found in a drainage ditch at 9 p.m., according to Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Sokoloff.

Shawn Morgan, a 43-year-old steel factory worker and father of three, was quietly arrested around 11 p.m. Friday.  Sokoloff said that in addition to first-degree murder, Morgan was charged with armed criminal action and tampering with physical evidence.

Two small bicycle training wheels were found Thursday in an area of "heavy brush" located approximately two miles southeast of Breeann's home which the FBI said may have come from the tot's bicycle.

The girl's father, Edgar Rodriguez, identified the wheels as belonging to his daughter because he had adjusted the wheels for his daughter, the FBI said.

The little girl was last seen riding her bike with her 5-year-old brother. Her brother ran inside to get a drink, and when he returned his sister had disappeared.

Senath, where the Rodriguezes live, is a tiny hamlet in the southeast corner of Missouri state with a population of less than 1,600 people and an extremely low crime rate.

"I got a child missing and it ain't supposed to happen," Senath Police Department Chief Omar Karnes said earlier this week.

Billboards with Breeann's picture went up in Missouri and Arkansas with an announcement of a $45,000 reward -- $25,000 from the FBI and $20,000 from the Senath Marshal's Office -- for the arrest and prosecution of whoever is responsible.

One of the many early leads in the case included the investigation of two vans that were seen in the area before Breeann's disappearance. The driver of one of the vehicles had been brought in for questioning by Senath police but has since been released, and the sheriff said Saturday officials are no longer interested in the vans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Breeann Rodriguez's Accused Killer: Seemed to Take an Hour for Her to Die

Comstock/Thinkstock(SENATH, Mo.) -- The suspect charged in the death of Breeann Rodriguez told police that "it felt like it took an hour" for the three-year-old girl to die as he held a plastic bag over her head.

Shawn Morgan, 43, of Senath, Mo., has been charged with first-degree murder in the case of little Breeann.

Morgan, the father of three, worked in a steel factory in nearby Blytheville, Ark.

Breeann was last seen on Aug. 6, riding her pink bicycle with her brother outside her home in Senath. Her disappearance shocked the hamlet of 1,600 people.

They were even more stunned when police arrested Breeann's neighbor and charged him with murder.

The details of the murder came out Monday when police released a probable cause affidavit. In it, officials stated that Morgan told them that he found Breeann standing on the ladder of his backyard swimming pool. He said he grabbed the girl and took her inside his house, where he suffocated her with a plastic trash bag, the affidavit states. Morgan told investigators that "it felt like it took an hour for the girl to die," according to the affidavit.

Morgan allegedly stuffed Breeann's body in the garbage bag and drove to floodway ditches and threw the bag over the railing.

He then returned home where he allegedly dismantled the girl's pink bicycle in the floodway ditches.

"Morgan is charged with knowingly causing the death of Breeann Rodriguez by suffocating her," said Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Sokolof in a statement to ABC News.

"It is alleged that he did so by use of a dangerous instrument, a plastic garbage bag. He is also charged with tampering with physical evidence by concealing her bicycle in the investigation of her death."

Dunklin County Sheriff Bol Holder told that Breeann's body has not yet been recovered, but they were searching ditches in Hornersville, about six miles from Senath.

"There's a series of five ditches down there. We're in the process of checking all of them," Holder said.

"We're dragging the ditches, have helicopters and dogs out there searching. We're making every effort to find her," he said.

According to the prosecutor's office, Morgan has not yet secured legal representation. He is currently being held at the Dunklin County Justice Center.

The suspect is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Dunklin County Courthouse.

Morgan faces a sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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