© The Associated Press / National Center for Missing and Exploited ChildrenAn undated photo provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows Breeann Rodriguez. Authorities say Shawn Morgan has confessed to suffocating Rodriguez, a 3-year-old neighbor girl who had been playing in his pool.
Remains believed to be a 3-year-old Missouri girl who went missing more than a week ago were found Tuesday near a series of ditches where authorities say a neighbor is suspected of dumping her body after suffocating her with a plastic bag.
A joint statement sent Tuesday night from prosecutors and law enforcement officers in the area said a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer searching by boat found the body of Breeann Rodriguez near the floodway ditches about eight miles southeast of the girl's family's home in Senath.
"We appreciate all the help and support from the community in what has been a difficult time for all," Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder said in the statement. "We are saddened to confirm our fears but glad we have been able to recover her for her parents."
The girl's parents were notified shortly after she was found, according to authorities.
More than four dozen investigators searched a floodway near the Mississippi River earlier Tuesday. Breeann was last seen Aug. 6 riding her pink bike with training wheels in front of her home.
Her parents insisted she would not have ridden farther than the end of the street - and they were right.
On Saturday, authorities announced they had arrested a neighbor, Shawn Morgan. Morgan, 43, told agent Tim Trowbridge of the Bootheel Drug Task Force that he found the child on a ladder in his backyard pool, grabbed her and carried her inside his home, where he suffocated her with a white plastic trash bag, according to a probable cause statement the agent filed.