11-Year-Old Girl Vanishes, ‘Person of Interest’ Arrested

Livingston, Texas – Authorities are urgently searching for a missing 11-year-old girl who vanished on Thursday morning. Audrii, whose last name has been withheld, was last seen in Livingston, a city located about 80 miles northeast of Houston. Her family contacted the police after she failed to disembark from the school bus. The Texas Department of Public Safety then issued an Amber Alert, labeling her as an abducted child. Audrii was last seen wearing a black hoodie with black lettering, black pants, black high-top tennis shoes, and she was carrying a bright red Hello Kitty-styled backpack.

A “person of interest” has been taken into custody on an unrelated charge. Authorities discovered a backpack that they believe may be connected to the case. The police have also located and seized a dark blue 2003 Chevrolet Suburban, which they have identified as a “vehicle of interest.” The owner of the vehicle, 42-year-old Don Steven McDougal, has been arrested on an unrelated aggravated assault charge and is currently considered the main “person of interest” in Audrii’s disappearance.

During a press conference, DPS Lt. Craig Cummings stated, “We are hopeful we can bring Audrii home alive and that’s what we are absolutely working for right now. Everybody is committed. They realize Audrii was loved by so many folks, and that is the driving force for us to get answers and bring her home.” While Cummings did not provide details on how McDougal came to be a person of interest, he mentioned that the possibility of foul play is being investigated. However, as of Sunday morning, there have been no significant updates on the case.

Audrii’s mother, Casey Matthews, made an emotional plea during an interview with CBS KHOU, stating that her daughter would not run away without notifying anyone. She emphasized the opportunities Audrii has ahead of her and stressed that she deserves to be safe at home with her family.

Authorities are urging anyone with information about Audrii’s disappearance to contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office or Polk County Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of $7,000, and callers have the option to remain anonymous.