Shawn Morgan, 43, admitted he murdered his neighbor, 3-year-old Breeann Rodriguez, after he had found her in his backyard.
Breeann went missing on Aug. 6 and was last seen in front of her home near Senath in southeast Missouri.
Morgan told authorities he had suffocated her with a white plastic trash bag and that it “felt like it took an hour for the girl to die.” He also told police that he tossed the girl’s body in the same trash bag he used to suffocate her and threw it over a railing along Missouri 164 and into a floodway ditch.
He said that when he got home, he dismantled the bicycle the girl had ridden earlier and tossed it in the same water system as the body. A bike found in the water system has been identified as belonging to the girl. Her body has not yet been found.
Morgan was being held without bond. He was charged over the weekend with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and tampering with evidence.