11-Year-Old Girl Missing; Search Underway

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(StraightShooterNews.com) – In a heart-rending development affecting an entire community, authorities in Texas are intensifying their efforts to locate an 11-year-old girl who mysteriously vanished after failing to board her school bus.

The only clue left behind Audrii Cunningham’s disappearance is her “Hello Kitty” backpack discovered near Lake Livingston Dam.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation when Audrii did not appear at her bus stop near her residence, which sparked widespread concern and the issuance of an Amber Alert for the girl, described as 4 feet 1 inch tall with blond hair and blue eyes, last seen wearing black attire and carrying her distinctive backpack.

42-year-old Don Steven McDougal has been identified as a person of interest and was arrested on an unrelated charge of aggravated assault, as per state authorities.

The Texas Department of Public Safety indicated that McDougal’s 2003 dark blue Chevy Suburban may play a role in Audrii’s disappearance.

Audrii’s mother, Cassie Matthews, expressed her anguish and confusion to KPRC and emphasized that it is out of character for her daughter to simply vanish.

She highlighted the profound love and support Audrii has from her family and underscored the emotional whirlwind of feeling broken, angry and ultimately empty in the wake of her daughter’s disappearance.

The search for Audrii is a collaborative effort involving multiple agencies including the FBI, which showcases the urgency and breadth of the response to find her. Authorities have been conducting searches around Lake Livingston as community members and family friends held onto hope for Audrii’s safe return.

Additionally, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced a $7,000 reward for information leading to Audrii’s case and urged the public to come forward with any leads.

The investigation remains “active and ongoing” with law enforcement grateful for the tips received and the community’s support in the ongoing search for Audrii.