A father of three has been charged with the murder of 3-year-old Breeann Rodriguez, after admitting that he suffocated the child after he found her playing in his backyard pool on the day of her disappearance, according to court documents.
Shawn Morgan, a 43-year-old -man who was a neighbor of the victim, was charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and tampering with evidence in connection with Rodriguez's disappearance.
Rodriguez was last seen on Aug. 6 in front of her home near Senath, Missouri, located about 200 miles south of St. Louis.
In a probable cause statement, Morgan admitted to agent of the Bootheel Drug Task Force that he grabbed the child and took her inside of his home after he found her standing in the ladder of his pool, according to law enforcement authorities. He then suffocated her with a white plastic trash bag and told authorities that it, "felt like it took an hour for the girl to die."
Morgan told police he tossed Rodriguez's body into the same bag he used to suffocate her and then threw it over a railing along Highway 164 into a floodway ditch. When he returned home, he said he dismantled her bicycle and threw it into the same area.
A bicycle found in the water system was identified as belonging to the girl by her father, who said he recognized the placement of the training wheels since he had personally adjusted them to fit her height. The search for Rodriguez's body is ongoing.
Dunklin County Sheriff Bol Holder told ABC News that investigators are searching for the child's body in a series of ditches in the town of Hornersville.
"We're dragging the ditches, have helicopters and dogs out there searching. We're making every effort to find her," Holder said.
Morgan is being held without bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday in Dunklin County Circuit Court in Kennet.