A 43-year-old Missouri man told police that he suffocated his 3-year-old neighbor with a plastic bag, then stuffed her body in the same bag and tossed her from a highway, according to a court document.
Shawn Morgan of Senath has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Breeann Rodriguez.
The girl was last seen on August 6, riding her pink bicycle with her brother outside their home in Senath, a town of about 1,800 residents in southeast Missouri's "bootheel," about 90 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee. Her body has not yet been found, though authorities have found the bike.
According to a probable cause affidavit dated Saturday, police interviewed Morgan last Friday at the police department in Kennett, a larger community about 10 miles northeast of Senath.
The suspect said that he spotted the girl standing on a ladder by the pool in his backyard, in Breeann's neighborhood. He told police that he grabbed the girl and carried her inside his house.
There, according to the affidavit, the man "suffocated the girl with a white plastic trash bag, by holding it over her face and mouth.
"Morgan states that he felt like it took an hour for the girl to die," the document adds.
It says Morgan told police he put the girl's body into the same trash bag, and then drove to Missouri's Highway 164 and got rid of the body by throwing it over a railing into a floodway ditch.
After returning home, Morgan said, he then dismantled the girl's bike and dumped it into another, related waterway, the document says.
A bicycle was recovered there and identified by Edgar Rodriguez as belonging to Breeann, his daughter. Police said last Thursday they'd found two training wheels similar to those on the girl's bike.
A call to the Dunklin County court to determine if Morgan has an attorney who could comment on his behalf was not immediately returned.
In addition to murder, Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Sokoloff said in a statement Saturday that Morgan is charged with armed criminal action and tampering with physical evidence.
The suspect is being held at the Dunklin County Justice Center.
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