crimesider

Police find remains believed to be Breeann Rodriguez

Breeann Rodriguez
KFVS
Neighbor confesses to killing Mo. girl Breeann Rodriguez, 3
Breeann Rodriguez
CBS/KFVS

(CBS/KFVS/AP) KENNETT, Mo. - Investigators in southeast Missouri say they have found human remains believed to be those of missing 3-year-old girl Breeann Rodriguez.

The girl vanished on Aug. 6 from her Senath, Mo. neighborhood, about 200 miles south of St. Louis.

A joint statement sent Tuesday night from prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the area said a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer searching by boat found the body of Breeann Rodriguez near the floodway ditches about eight miles southeast of the girl's family's home.

Now Breeann's 43-year-old neighbor, Shawn Morgan, is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and tampering with evidence in connection with Rodriguez's disappearance, Dunklin County Prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff announced at a press conference.

According to the probable cause statement, Morgan admitted to grabbing Breeann and carrying her inside his house as she stood on the ladder at the pool in his backyard on Aug. 6, CBS affiliate KFVS reports. Morgan then suffocated the girl using a white plastic trash bag. He then put the her body in the same trash bag, drove to the floodway ditches of Hwy. 164 and threw her over the railing.

When he came back to his house, Morgan took apart her bicycle and threw it in the same river system, according to court documents.

Sokoloff said at the press conference that Morgan was a neighbor of the child's family and is being held without bond. Morgan made an court appearance Tuesday, and his arraignment was rescheduled for Aug. 30 to allow him time to find an attorney. He remains jailed without bond.