Saturday, August 13, 2011
Parents of the missing Senath girl, Edgar Rodriguez, left, and Claudia Ramos, right, search a wooded lot after two training wheels were found nearby.
(Staff photo by George Anderson)
A male suspect is presently in custody and being questioned in regard to the case of missing 3-year-old, Breeann Rodriguez of Senath.
Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder announced early Saturday morning that a person of interest was in custody and that he was being held at the Justice Center pending the filing of formal charges through the Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Lead Prosecutor Stephen P. Sokoloff was contacted by the Daily Dunklin Democrat after the news broke and did confirm that the man is being questioned and that his office is working on determining the formal filing of charges. At approximately 9 a.m., Sokoloff added that the state should have more information within the hour in regard to the case and what advancements have been made, including any charges that would be filed.
Holder indicated in a written release regarding the suspect that investigators are no longer interested in the white cargo van that was seen days before the little girl disappeared. He and Senath Police Chief Omar Karnes also added that a team of law enforcement specialists are currently searching for the girl's body and her bicycle in an undisclosed area, that is located in Dunklin County.
That team of searchers includes the Dunklin County Major Case Squad, Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Holder said that although the Sheriff's Office and other investigating agencies received hundreds of tips from the public regarding the case, it was a thorough investigation that led to the suspect, who is from the local area and is not related to the family.
Rodriguez was last seen riding her pink and purple bicycle in front of her home on Ode Johnson Street in Senath on Saturday, August 6, 2011.
According to FBI spokesperson Rebecca Wu, the agency has transitioned the case fully to the hands of local prosecutors and all future information released on the case will come from that office.