Man Goes To Court In Missing Girl Case


By Fanna Haile-Selassie

KENNETT, MO - The Missouri man, charged with killing 3-year-old Breeann Rodriguez, made his first court appearance Tuesday morning. A Dunklin County judge read the charges against 43-year-old Shawn Morgan, as members of Breeann's family sat tearfully in the courtroom.

It was the first look at the man accused of murdering 3-year-old Breeann Rodriguez.

"A lot of anger, a lot of anger."

But for many in the courtroom, it's a face they know all too well.

"We'd seen him around a couple of times, you know. All the kids play with everybody. He has kids. His kids would come outside and play with all the kids like everybody else. Never thought we had a predator or a murderer in our street," explains Brenda Ramos, Breeann's aunt.

Wearing a bullet-proof vest and well surround by security, 43-year-old Shawn Morgan made his initial appearance in court Tuesday morning, just more than two days after confessing to killing Breeann by suffocating her with a trash bag and throwing her into a floodway ditch. He is charged with 1st degree murder, tampering with evidence, and armed criminal action.

"She's three years old. She's a little girl, why would somebody want to hurt a 3-year-old," asks Ramos.

Even with Shawn Morgan in custody, family members say justice cannot be fully served until they find Breeann.

"That's why we want those signs to be up, so people will know that justice is still not done yet, to this day and to this moment," says Breeann's uncle Alex Moreno.

And local authorities are trying to find Breeann as soon as possible, combing the floodway ditches time and time again.

"Obviously, the absence of a body in a homicide case, makes it more difficult, but it is certainly possible and has been done many times, you can establish death by other means," explains Dunklin county prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff.

But these guys want to find justice for the Rodriguez family, as well as for their shaken community.

"Hope is the last thing you lose," exclaims Moreno.

Shawn Morgan has two weeks to find an attorney and appear back in Dunklin County court. His next hearing is August 30th at 9 a.m.
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