A Family Friend Has Now Been Charged in the Murder of Audrey Cunningham

According to various sources, the man suspected of murdering 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham was a family friend who actively followed the inquiry into her abduction and even helped with the search.

Don Steven McDougal, 42, who is charged with capital murder in connection with Audrii’s death, lived in a trailer on the girl’s family’s property and had numerous previous interactions with her, CNN reported, citing investigators.

When Audrii went missing, McDougal helped with the initial search for her before being arrested last Friday on an unrelated crime, according to CNN.

McDougal allegedly informed officials that he left the house with Audrii last Thursday morning but declined to provide any other information, Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons told ABC 13.

A Family Friend Has Now Been Charged in the Murder of Audrey Cunningham (1)

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Audrii’s body was found on Tuesday. Lyons stated that during the search for Audrii, McDougal went throughout the area knocking on doors and asking people if they had seen the youngster, according to CNN.

“To me, it simply tells me is that he’s trying to give the appearance that he has no play or he’s not at fault in her disappearance and that [he’s] part of the concerned parties who were trying to locate her,” Lyons said in an interview with CNN.

According to a charging document received and posted by NBC Houston, officials discovered Audrii’s body tied to a “large rock” with a rope that was “consistent” with one found in the suspect’s car days prior.

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McDougal has already been convicted of enticing a kid. It’s unknown whether McDougal has hired a counsel to speak on his behalf. 

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