Saturday, August 13, 2011

#BreeannRodriguez:The neighbor of three-year-old Breeann Rodriguez has been formally charged

According to Prosecuting Attorney for Dunklin County, Stephen P.
Sokoloff, who spoke at a press conference around 1 p.m., Saturday, Shawn
Morgan, 43, of Senath has been charged with the felony counts of First
Degree Murder, Armed Criminal Action and Tampering with Physical
evidence in connection to the missing child
case that has been covered by local and national media since Saturday,
August 6, the day little Breeann was reported missing by her family.

Sokoloff, joined by Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder, and Senath Chief
of Police Omar Karnes, met with members of the press at the Dunklin
County Justice Center on Saturday after word got out that a suspect had
been taken into custody, earlier that morning. Sokoloff said that it is
charged that Morgan caused the death of Rodriguez by suffocating, but
was unable to provide any further details. He was also unable to comment
on whether or not Morgan had prior convictions or was a registered sex
offender. The prosecutor did confirm that he was a neighbor of the young
girl and her family who lives on Ode Johnson Street in Senath. The
child was reported missing by her parents who said the preschooler was
outside near the front yard of the residence riding bikes with her older
brother, age 5. The sibling reportedly went into the residence for a
drink and it was later discovered that Breeann was no longer on her pink
and purple bicycle. The mother and father began searching for their
daughter for around 30 minutes, before calling police. Since that time, a
group of local volunteers and law enforcement officials, have teamed
with the FBI and other specialty search groups in an attempt to locate
the missing girl.

Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder, left,
Prosecuting Attorney Stephen P. Sokoloff, center, and City of Senath
Police Chief Omar Karnes, right, hold a press conference at the Dunklin
County Justice Center in Kennett on Saturday afternoon relating to the
missing child case.

"Officers from the Senath Police Department, Dunklin County Sheriff's
Department, Dunklin County Major Case Squad, Missouri State Highway
Patrol and the FBI, have worked around the clock to attempt to locate
the girl," Sokoloff said at the press conference.
The prosecutor, as well as the sheriff and police chief, commented on
the outpour of support from the local community, recognizing the efforts
of neighbors and friends throughout Dunklin County who tirelessly
dedicated themselves to spreading the word about the case, physically
scouring the area for the missing child, and aiding the needs of law enforcement involved in the search.

Sokoloff said that Morgan is being held at the Dunklin County Justice
Center awaiting a court date that has been set for Tuesday, August 16.
Dunklin County Circuit Judge John C. Spielman issued a no bond order in
the case against Morgan who will appear in court at approximately 9 a.m., on the charges against him.

The prosecuting attorney did say that at this time in the investigation
it is unlikely that anyone else will be charged in connection to the
case and that the family has been notified of recent developments. He
also added that as search teams conduct their investigation into
locating the body of the young girl, any new developments will be
released as they become available.

Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder said that members of his agency and
the Dunklin County Major Case Squad, in addition to the state's
Department of Conservation, are presently dragging waters in areas of
interest that exist in Dunklin County and searching other territories
where Rodriguez's body might be found. He did not elaborate on where the
searches are specifically taking place and asked for the community's
cooperation so as to not compromise the integrity of the investigation.