11-Year-Old Audrii Cunningham’s Cause Of Death Revealed – One America News Network

(Photo via: Polk County, TX Sheriff’s Office)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:38 PM – Friday, February 23, 2024

Records from the Harris County medical examiner’s office state that 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham of Texas, who was murdered by her father’s friend, Don Steven McDougal, died from “homicidal violence, including blunt head trauma.”

The primary cause of death determination sheds more light on Audrii’s disappearance, which occurred sometime after McDougal was asked by the girl’s father to take her to the bus stop.


Her remains were discovered in a river close to her rural Livingston, Texas, home after an extensive five-day search, according to authorities.

McDougal, 42, a friend of Audrii’s father who resided on the same land as them but in a trailer park, was charged on Wednesday with capital murder in connection to her death.

The 42-year-old perpetrator lived behind the house where the child lived with her father and grandmother. Audrii’s mother, Cassie Matthews, was not taking care of her daughter at the time.

A number of previous reports claimed that Matthews had lost custody due to her own drug addictions, however, the mother refuted these claims in a social media post.

“That is my daughter, and I never lost any rights to her, so as her parent, I’m going to involve myself in anything I please concerning my child!” she reportedly wrote. “I’m tired of all the bullsh*t and I’m tired of being silent, scared, and once again bullied into submission by people I don’t f**king know.”

“I’ll make this clear one time and one time only, ​I failed my daughter by being bullied into submission by her father’s family and being made to believe she was in a safe, loving, and normal home with her father,” Cassie Matthews said on Facebook.

According to Polk County officials, McDougal had promised to drive Audrii to her school bus stop last Thursday, however, she never got on it. Later that day, a backpack that resembled Audrii’s bright red Hello Kitty backpack was discovered close to a nearby dam.

The complaint states that Audrii’s body was wrapped in a huge boulder with a rope that “was consistent with rope that was observed in McDougal’s vehicle on a traffic stop two days prior” when her remains were discovered in the Trinity River on Tuesday.

Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said that McDougal informed detectives that he had visited a number of locations around the time Audrii disappeared, including the river. According to the complaint, investigators have proof that McDougal “lied about his whereabouts and activities on the day of February 15, 2024.”

During a Wednesday night vigil for Audrii, family and friends grieved the passing of a sociable girl whose contagious grin could instantly brighten anyone’s day.

“No matter where she went or who she met, she just made them light up,” said her aunt, Brenda Cedars. “She could always make you laugh, no matter what kind of mood you were in. It just isn’t fair that we all got robbed of that.”

The victim’s mother said that she has had difficulty finding the right words to express her grief regarding the death of her daughter, whom she considered to be “perfect,” in her own words.

(Photo via: Joshua Cunningham public Facebook (Meta) profile)

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Brooke Mallory
Author: Brooke Mallory

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