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Crime & Courts

Police Examine New Evidence in Search for Missing 3-Year-Old Missouri Girl

BreeAnn Rodriguez

This image, provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, shows 3-year-old BreeAnn Rodriguez. The girl was last seen on Saturday riding her bike near her Senath, Mo., home.

Investigators in southeast Missouri say they are hopeful that new evidence will help them find a 3-year-old Missouri girl missing since Saturday.

Breeann Rodriguez was last seen riding a bike with training wheels in front of her home in Senath, a town of about 1,600 residents in Dunklin County, about 150 miles south of St. Louis.

The Kennett Daily Dunklin Democrat reports that authorities aren't disclosing the new evidence, but are now focusing a search south of the town. 

Police are also seeking a white van that had been spotted in the area. Town Marshal Omar Karnes said the older model van has no windows and a ladder on the back.

A total of $45,000 in reward money is being offered in the search for the girl. The FBI is offering $25,000, and the Senath Marshal's office is offering $20,000 in the effort to find her. 

The 30-pound girl was wearing a pink top, and pink and purple pants at the time of her disappearance. At least 200 people searched for her over the weekend, joining police from several agencies, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FBI.

An Amber Alert was not issued for the girl and police do not know whether she wandered off or was kidnapped. 

Police Chief Omar Karnes said the girl lives on a dead-end street and that none of her neighbors saw any suspicious vehicles.

"She was there (then) she was gone," Karnes said. "There is nothing. No trace. We don't have any trail."

Police questioned a person of interest Saturday, but that person has been ruled out as a suspect, Karnes said.

"We're working 24 hours a day until we find her," FBI agent Matt Brummund told KFVS-TV. FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu said the agency immediately gets involved when children of a "tender age" go missing for no apparent reason.

"The first hours are very critical," Wu said.

The child's father, Edgar Rodriguez, described her as very friendly but said she would never ride her bike away from the street where the family lives.

Click here for more on the disappearance of BreeAnn Rodriguez from

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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