Neighbor of Breeann Rodriguez says: 'Felt like it took an hour for the girl to die'
Law enforcement authorities knew what they were looking for -- and they knew what to expect at the end of their search for Breeann Rodriguez, the 3-year-old who went missing last week in Missouri while riding her pink bicycle with its brand new training wheels outside her family's home.
But that didn't make the discovery any easier. Her tiny body was found in a drainage ditch late Tuesday night, about eight miles from her home. A neighbor, Shawn Morgan, 43, a steel factory worker, faces murder charges in her death, and has provided chilling details about the crime.
Authorities have not yet said what led them to his front door. Court documents say Morgan has since confessed to the crime, and quote him as saying he found the child near his backyard pool, and brought her inside his home, where she was suffocated with a trash bag.
Morgan reportedly also said that it "felt like it took an hour for the girl to die." The court documents do not reveal a motive. Authorities believe he dumped the body in the ditch in an effort to conceal the crime.
Suspicion at one point was cast on the girl's parents. Her father, Edgar Rodriguez, said law enforcement officials gave both parents lie detector tests -- and told them they failed.
Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder released a statement shortly after the body was discovered and the girl's mother and father were notified: "We are saddened to confirm our fears, but glad we have been able to recover her for her parents."
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Photos: Shawn Morgan, left, who allegedly confessed to killing 3-year-old Breeann Morgan, right. Credit: Associated Press