AUGUST 9, 2005 - Posted at 10:19 a.m. CDT
DEXTER, MO - Authorities in southeast Missouri are investigating the apparent murder of a 12-year-old girl in Stoddard County.
An autopsy conducted on the victim yesterday has led investigators to determine the death of the girl as a homicide.
Sunday morning, deputies with the Stoddard County Sheriff's Department responded to a rural area "north of Acorn Ridge" in reference to a missing juvenile. After a search of the surrounding area, authorities found the body of a 12-year-old girl from the Poplar Bluff area inside a barn near a residence.