Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons and District Attorney Shelly Sitton provided the tragic news that many feared concerning Audrii Cunningham of Livingston, Texas.

Contributed Photos/Polk Country SO
Contributed Photos/Polk Country SO

The body of the 11-year-old girl was found by law enforcement Tuesday in the Trinity River under the Highway 59 overpass.

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District Attorney Shelly Sitton revealed that they would be processing paperwork to charge Don Steven McDougal with Capital Murder. McDougal had been placed under arrest on Friday on an unrelated aggravated assault charge.

According to reports, McDougal was the last person with Cunningham before her disappearance. McDougal has been living in a trailer on the same property where Audrii and her father live near Lake Livingston.

At an earlier press conference, Sheriff Lyons indicated that McDougal had been responsible on several occasions for taking Cunningham to the bus stop or her school. She was reported missing on Thursday when she did not get on her bus or make it to school.

An Amber Alert was issued late Thursday night, which has now been discontinued. Audrii's body is being sent to the Harris County Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.

According to a Fox 26 report, McDougal has a long history of crime and violence.

Since her disappearance, authorities had been concentrating their search along the southern and eastern shores of Lake Livingston, as well as along the Trinity River downstream from the Lake Livingston Dam. A backpack consistent in description with one that Cunningham owned was found near the dam.

Numerous law enforcement agencies assisted in search efforts for the past 5 days including Polk County agencies, Texas Rangers, DPS, and the FBI. Many volunteer search organizations also helped. Sheriff Lyons extended his sincere thanks to all who sacrificed so much time and effort. He also thanked all those who provided tips to the case.

Please keep Audrii, and her family and friends, along with all persons involved with the case in your prayers.

The video of today's press conference can be found below.

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