UPDATE: Shawn Morgan has a history of losing his temper. In 2002, he was caught leaving notes at the factory he worked at, threatening to blow it up unless certain coworkers were fired. But he ended up walking with a fine and probation. See update after the jump…
Father Edgar describes Breeann as a friendly, outgoing girl, but says she would never leave with a stranger
training wheels outside her home in Senath, Missouri, a town of just
1,600 people hours south of St. Louis. It seemed a safe proposition. Her
family lived on a dead-end street with little traffic.
On Saturday, 3-year-old Breeann Rodriguez was riding her bike with
Then Breeann promptly disappeared.
The neighbors say they saw nothing suspicious. Police says at least one person spotted an older white utility van in the area, but it’s unknown if the driver had any role in Breeann’s disappearance.
Other than that, police and the FBI seem to have no idea what happened to the girl. Her father Edgar describes her as very friendly, but also says she’d never leave with a stranger. Detectives still don’t know if she wandered away or was kidnapped.
Neighbors describe a street where everyone knows one another. They also say Senath may be the safest town in America.
So far, police have spent their time combing nearby fields and going door-to-door without luck.
Police are releasing almost no details on how or why Morgan suffocated her to death, but they seem sure Breeann’s already dead.
Morgan apparently grabbed Breeann as she was out riding her training-wheel bike in front of her home. She was riding with her older brother when he went inside to get a drink. By the time he returned, she was gone.
Her training wheels were later found in a field, which Breeann’s father identified as coming from her bike. But there’s been no sign of Breeann or the rest of her bike.
Morgan’s wife told neighbors that the FBI was taking computers and other evidence from their home. He’s described as a small man, about 5-foot-6 and weighing 130 pounds. He’s lived in the neighborhood for a decade and works at a steel plant in nearby Arkansas.
Breeann’s older brother went in the house for just a moment while the two were riding bikes. But that was enough time for Breeann to wander over to Shawn Morgan’s house, on the same street, and begin climbing the ladder on his pool.
For reasons still unknown, Morgan was pissed about this. He went out and grabbed the girl, took her inside, then suffocated her with a plastic garbage bag, saying it “felt like
it took an hour for the girl to die.”
He then drove her body out state highway 164 and threw her in a floodway ditch.
He went back home and took apart her bike. Then he drove to the same area and threw that in as well.
Police have recovered the bike, but there’s still no sign of Breeann. The cops are now dragging ditches and using helicopters and dogs in hopes of finding her body.
There’s still no explanation why Morgan killed the girl. It could be that he was simply pissed that the girl was playing near his pool. Neighbors have also described growing racial tensions in the town due to the influx of Latinos.
But in the end, it probably doesn’t matter. When you kill a 3-year-old girl, no explanation will suffice.
UPDATE III: In 2002, Shawn Morgan threatened to blow up the factory he worked at.
He was working at Prestolite Wire Corp. in Paragould, Arkansas at the time. But he apparently had problems with a handful of his colleagues. One day a note was found in a bathroom stall threatening to blow the place up.
“Notice if Eddie, Britt, Amy & Gary B aren’t fire soon I will leave a bomb and blow everybody up I’m not joking Take me seriosly,” read a note found in May of that year. Two days later another note was found that simply read, “Bomb baby boom.”
Coworkers suspected Morgan was the nut behind it. He claimed otherwise, but when he submitted to a handwriting test, police say his writing style and misspellings matched the threats.
Despite being only a year after 9/11, when anyone making a bomb threat was getting his ass lit up, Morgan was able to skate. Two years later, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of making a terroristic threat. He managed to walk away with a $1,000 fine and a year of probation.
But after confessing to killing Breeann, he’s now looking at first-degree murder charges, making him eligible for the death penalty.
See our last story from the Unsolved file: Robyn Gardner Missing in Aruba; Boyfriend Claims She Was Swept Out to Sea.