Motive in killing of 3-year-old remains unclear

Breeann Rodriguez
Breeann Rodriguez

SENATH, MO (AP) - As the small Missouri town of Senath prepares to say goodbye to Breeann Rodriguez, police still don't know what allegedly drove a neighbor to suffocate the 3-year-old girl.

Breeann's body was found Tuesday on the bank of a drainage ditch a few miles outside of Senath, a town of 1,500 residents in far southeastern Missouri. Shawn Morgan was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder. A probable cause statement says he told investigators it "felt like it took an hour" to suffocate the child with a plastic bag.

Searchers had been looking for Breeann since she was reported missing on Aug. 6.

Julie Crowder of the Dunklin County Sheriff's Department says Morgan did not offer a motive.

A funeral will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at Senath Church of Christ.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

SENATH, MO (AP) - Funeral arrangements are now set for Breeann Rodriguez, the 3-year-old Missouri girl allegedly suffocated by her neighbor.

Visitation will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Senath Church of Christ Church with a funeral to follow at 4 p.m. at the church. Burial is at Senath Cemetery.

The girl was reported missing on Aug. 6. A man who lives on the same street in Senath, Shawn Morgan, was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder. He allegedly confessed to suffocating Breeann with a plastic bag after finding her near his backyard swimming pool.

A spokeswoman for the Dunklin County Sheriff's Department says Morgan did not say why he killed the girl. Her body was found Tuesday near a series of drainage ditches a few miles outside of Senath.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

SENATH, MO (KAIT) - Prosecuting Attorney Steven Sokoloff tells Region 8 News they're confident the remains they found are those of Breeann Rodriguez.

According to officials with the Dunklin County Sheriff's office, police located what they believe to be the remains of Breann Rodriguez in a drainage ditch about 8 miles southeast of her home in Senath.

In a statement, Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder says, "We appreciate all the help and support from the community in what has been a difficult time for all.  We are saddened to confirm our fears, but glad we have been able to recover her for her parents."

Region 8 News will continue to track the latest on this story.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All Rights Reserved.