Man charged with capital murder in death of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham

UPI
Murder charges were filed Tuesday against Don Steven McDougal in the death of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham. Her body was found in the Trinity River in Polk County, Texas. McDougal was a friend of Audrii's father and had a long criminal history. Photo courtesy of Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Murder charges were filed Tuesday against Don Steven McDougal in the death of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham. Her body was found Tuesday afternoon in the Trinity River in Polk County, Texas.

McDougal faces capital murder charges. He was arrested on unrelated aggravated assault charges Feb. 16th.

He was a family friend and had been a person of interest in Audrii's Feb. 15 disappearance.

Audrii's body was found Tuesday after information from McDougal, cell phone analysis and videos led law enforcement to where her body was found, according to Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons.

The crime scene included the Trinity River Bridge and an area around U.S. Highway 59, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Craig Cummings.

McDougal was a friend of Audrii's father and had a long criminal history. He lived in an RV behind the Cunningham family home.

He faces the death penalty if convicted of Audrii's murder.

Sheriff Lyons said McDougal admitted seeing Audrii the morning she was last seen, but he wasn't cooperative beyond acknowledging that.

Lyons said McDougal was indicted in 2007 on attempted indecency with a child charges, but that charge was reduced to child enticement so he wasn't required to register as a sex offender.