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Search for missing 11-year-old in Texas: Backpack found near reservoir, person of interest in custody

Missing pamphlet showing details regarding Audrii Cunningham | Credits: Google

United States: The authorities of Texas have been intensified the searching for an 11-year-old girl, who has been reportedly missing since Thursday after she was failed to get on her school bus.

According to the preliminary information by the officials, they are just able to find a Hello Kitty Backpack, which belongs to the child, near a reservoir.

An official news release have been released by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, addressing the heart-breaking case. According to the reports, the girl, who has been identified as Audrii Cunningham, went missing after she failed to take a bus from the bus stop near.  

What was the identity of the missing girl?

As per the preliminary information shared by the police officials, the search was launched immediately after a report was filed about the missing of 4-foot and 1-inch girl with blonde hair and blue eyes.

11-year-old Audrii Cunningham | Credits: New York Post

According to the details shared, when she was seen last seen she was wearing black pants and a black hoodie and was carrying a bright red coloured “Hello Kitty” backpack.

Police arrested a person of interest!

According to the details shared by the state authorities, a person of interest, identified as Don Steven McDougal, aged 42-year-old, has been taken into custody on Friday. The person has been detained on an unrelated charge of aggravated assault.

Additionally, the Texas Department of Public Safety has noted that the team investigating the matter has also suspected involvement of McDougal’s dark blue 2003 Chevy Suburban in the disappearance of Audrii, according to New York Post.

Don Steven McDougal | Credits: Facebook

The discovery of small Hello Kitty backpack was also confirmed by the state police.

Misery shared by worried parents of disappeared girl

The worried mother of the disappeared girl – Cassie Mathers, told KPRC, “We would like to have her come home; it’s not like her to just run off or disappear; she has a lot of loving family; she has so many people that love her and adore her.” The statement was released after was reportedly disappeared.

She further mentioned that currently she was living with her father and grandmother. Additionally, she was quoted saying, “Hard is an understatement; this is the stuff you see on TV, and you can only imagine what the family and the parents are going through, and there’s no words for it.”

“There is not one feeling you feel, it’s a roller coaster, you are broken, you are mad, you are empty and right now I am empty. She has so many opportunities ahead of her, and she deserves every right to be able to reach those opportunities,” she continued.

Statement by Sheriff’s office

The officials have stated that the sheriff’s office has been working collectively with agencies including FBI. The official also assured that the investigation related to Audrii’s whereabouts is still ongoing.

To strengthening the efforts, the Texas Department of Public Safety has announced that it was awarding around US$ 7000 to a person who will share any detail regarding the case.

The statement by the Department read, “Investigators continue to actively follow leads in this case, but we do not have any significant updates to report at this time,” according to New York Post.

It added, “However, law enforcement remains thankful for all the tips being provided and for all the efforts of everyone involved in the search for Audrii.”

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