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Prosecutors may pursue death penalty in Breeann Rodriguez death

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

(CBS/KFVS) KENNETT, Mo. - Prosecutors have now filed an additional charge and may be seeking the death penalty against Shawn Morgan, the man accused of killing his 3-year-old neighbor Breeann Rodriguez.

Morgan, 43, is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Rodriguez. Now he also faces a charge of child kidnapping, reports CBS affiliate KFVS.

In addition to the new charge, the Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Sokoloff filed a notice of statutory aggravating circumstances, which will permit the state to seek the death penalty for the first-degree murder charge.

According to Sokoloff, Breeann's parents are in support of the prosecutor's actions.

Morgan made his second appearance in court on Tuesday. He has not yet entered a plea. 

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

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, the station reports. Morgan then suffocated the girl using a white plastic trash bag. He told police "he felt like it took an hour for the girl to die."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.

Breeann's body was found Aug. 16 by a member of the Missouri Highway Patrol's water patrol division who was searching by boat.

Morgan's next court appearance is set for Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. in Kennett.

More on Crimesider
August 17, 2011 - Police find remains believed to be Breeann Rodriguez
August 15, 2011 - Neighbor charged with murder in disappearance of Mo. girl Breeann Rodriguez, 3