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Authorities still searching for missing Texas girl, say suspect not cooperating

The search for missing 11-year-old Texas girl Audrii Cunningham continued Monday as authorities pleaded with public for help with any video evidence of a rural road during time the time of her disappearance last week. Photo courtesy Texas EquuSearch/Facebook
1 of 2 | The search for missing 11-year-old Texas girl Audrii Cunningham continued Monday as authorities pleaded with public for help with any video evidence of a rural road during time the time of her disappearance last week. Photo courtesy Texas EquuSearch/Facebook

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- State and local authorities said Monday they are still searching for missing 11-year-old Texas girl Audrii Cunningham and indicated a suspect now in custody on an unrelated charge is not cooperating.

That suspect, identified over the weekend as Don Steven McDougal, 42, has been given "several opportunities to cooperate and we remain hopeful that he will begin helping in this case," Lt. Craig Cummings of the Texas Department of Public Safety told reporters in Livingston, Texas.

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Cummings pleaded for the public's help in obtaining videos of a stretch of Farm to Market Road 3126 in rural Polk County between 6:30 and 8 a.m. on Thursday, which is the last time Audrii was seen as she waited for a school bus.

The girl was dropped at the stop but never made it on board, according to police. Her family reported her missing at 5:30 p.m. that day, leading to the issuing of an Amber Alert.

A reward for information leading to Audrii's whereabouts offered by the Polk County Crime Stoppers was increased to $10,000 on Monday, officials said.

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McDougal was identified as a "person of interest" in the case on Saturday after being arrested and booked into jail on unrelated charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His dark blue Chevrolet Suburban was also impounded as evidence in the case.

Cummings said McDougal lived in a camper behind Audrii's residence and that he "does have a relationship with the family" which included occasionally dropping the girl off at the bus stop or even driving her to school.

Investors said they had discovered a small backpack that likely belonged to a child near the Lake Livingston Dam.

Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said he is confident the backpack belongs to Audrii and said investigators believe McDougal is the last person to see the girl.

Audrii is described as 4 feet, 1 inch tall and about 75 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. When last seen she was wearing a black hoodie with white lettering, a camo backpack, black pants, and black high-top tennis shoes.

Anyone with information on the case are urged to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 936-327-6810 or 911. Tips can also be submitted on the iWatchTexas App.

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