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Audrii Cunningham Murder: Accused Killer Helped In Search For Little Girl

Audrii Cunningham Murder: Accused Killer Helped In Search For Little Girl

The Audrii Cunningham murder just gets more and more disheartening with every update.

As we’ve been following, the 11-year-old Texas girl went missing after failing to show up to school on February 15. She always walked to her bus stop, but on the day she went missing, her neighbor Don Steven McDougal apparently offered to bring… Making him the last person to see her alive. But it seems like he was determined to try and clear his name of any suspicion.

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On Wednesday, Sheriff Byron Lyons told CNN that in addition to lying “about his whereabouts and activities” on the day Audrii went missing, he participated in her search. He apparently went door to door asking if anyone had seen the missing girl, an effort which Lyons doesn’t buy into:

“To me, it simply tells me is that he’s trying to give the appearances that he has no play or he’s not at fault in her disappearance and that (he’s) part of the concerned parties who were trying to locate her.”

So messed up.

We reported that the 42-year-old was a friend of Audrii’s father and lived on the Cunninham’s property in a trailer. What’s wild is that despite what seems like a million surface-level red flags, Audrii’s father occasionally allowed him to look after the little girl — even though in addition to the screaming visual cues (swastika tattoo), he ALSO has a criminal record, including a charge of enticing a minor in 2008.

Don Steven McDougal Charged With Murder
(c) Polk County Sheriff’s Office

This is something Audrii’s mom Cassie Matthews seems to be baffled by, as she thought the 11-year-old was staying in a “safe, loving, and normal home with her father.”

Don has since been charged with capital murder in the case, as Audrii’s body was discovered tied to a rock at the bottom of the Trinity River with a rope consistent with the one identified in Don’s car during a “vehicle on a traffic stop” days prior. After becoming the main person of interest, he took to Facebook to deny any involvement in Audrii’s disappearance and murder. He wrote, according to CNN:

“I’m not guilty … I was there and was questioned. I am not running or hiding. I have done everything I can to help find her. I have done nothing wrong.”

Such a terrible, terrible situation. We hope to see justice brought to Audrii and the Cunningham family soon.

[Images via Polk County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook]

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Feb 22, 2024 09:16am PDT