Person of interest arrested as Texas search for 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham continues: DPS

ByLileana Pearson, Jiovanni Lieggi KTRK logo
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Texas Amber Alert: Livingston man Don Steven McDougal arrested, search continues for missing 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham
DPS says 42-year-old Don Steven McDougal was arrested as a person of interest, but investigators haven't found 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham, who went missing in Livingston on Thursday.

SAN JACINTO COUNTY, Texas -- Texas investigators have continued their search for 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham after arresting a person of interest on Saturday, according to the Department of Public Safety.

On Saturday afternoon, authorities said 42-year-old Don Steven McDougal was arrested on an unrelated charge.

Earlier, DPS posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that authorities are searching for a 2003 dark blue Chevrolet Suburban as a vehicle of interest.

Troopers said the Suburban belongs to McDougal and are offering a $7,000 reward for more information on Audrii's disappearance.

Investigators didn't specify if Audrii was last seen with McDougal and added that there are multiple persons of interest.

Authorities said they searched several locations on Friday and Saturday but have not found the 11-year-old.

Audrii's mother, Cassie Matthews, spoke with our sister station, ABC13 Eyewitness News in Houston, on Friday, saying she was told investigators found a backpack near the Lake Livingston Dam, but there are no signs of her.

DPS confirmed on Saturday that the backpack belongs to Audrii.

Investigators continue their search for 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham Saturday morning near the Lake Livingston Dam in San Jacinto County.

Audrii was last seen around 7 a.m. Thursday on Lakeside Drive, not far from the home she shares with her father.

Neighbors say they usually see her walking to the bus stop with a dog, but that doesn't appear to have happened Thursday.

"She was allegedly dropped off at her bus stop, and later on, we come to learn that she never even made it on the bus," Matthews said.

"There's additional information out there. We're just not releasing it. That's what the investigators are using to follow up on," Lt. Craig Cummings with the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

Cummings asked anyone who has information about Audrii's whereabouts to contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 936-327-6810.