Suspect in Audrii Cunningham death now charged with capital murder

POLK COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) – The main suspect in the death of Audrii Cunningham has been charged with capital murder on Tuesday.

According to Polk County Jail records, Don Steven McDougal, who was arrested on February 16th for unrelated aggravated assault charges, is now also facing capital murder charges for the death of recently deceased 11-year old Audrii Cunningham.

Cunningham was reported missing last Thursday after she reportedly did not make it to her school bus stop and was the subject of a large scale search near Lake Livingston. Her body was discovered in the Trinity River Tuesday afternoon.

Cell phone analysis, videos collected, and info received from McDougal led law enforcement to the location where she was found in the river, Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said.

Lyons did not want to clarify which specific agency found Audrii’s body, but said that the river authority was the main factor that allowed searchers to locate her in the water. He said that numerous agencies were side-by-side in the search, which he called a joint operation.

He said that they are still gathering information, and declined to say whether she was held elsewhere after McDougall took her, when she was killed, or by what method. He said that an autopsy is being conducted to determine the exact cause of Audrii’s death.

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