Texas police have charged 42-year-old Don Steven McDougal with the murder of Audrii Cunningham, an 11-year-old girl who went missing in Texas last week, per CNN.

Cunningham was first reported missing on Feb. 15 after her school noticed her absence that morning, according to a press release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Department. Her body was discovered in the Trinity River about 10 miles from her home on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports.

McDougal had previously been identified as a person of interest in Cunningham’s disappearance, according to a press release from the Texas Department of Public Safety. He was arrested for an unrelated assault charge on Friday and remained in police custody.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Department stated that Cunningham was expected to take the school bus on the morning she went missing but was not seen at her neighborhood stop. After her school reported her missing, police issued an Amber Alert and began searching for Cunningham.

Cunningham’s mother, Cassie Matthews, spoke to local news outlet KPRC shortly after her daughter went missing, several days before her body was found.

“She has so many people that love her and adore her,” Matthews said. “She has so many opportunities ahead of her, and she deserves every right to be able to reach those opportunities.”

Cunningham lived with her father and grandparents. The Associated Press reports that police began investigating McDougal, and authorities said he was a family friend who lived on the property and would occasionally take Cunningham to the bus stop or drive her to school.

The Associated Press reports McDougal has a criminal record dating back more than a decade, and his various convictions include two counts of enticement of a child. McDougal was officially identified as a person of interest in Cunningham’s disappearance on Feb. 17.

People react after a press conference where law enforcement officials announced that 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham was found dead in the Trinity River near her home in Livingston, Texas, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, in Livingston. | Jason Fochtman, Houston Chronicle via Associated Press

Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said at a press conference that police used cellphone data and video footage to identify places to search for Cunningham, which led investigators to lower water levels on the Trinity River.

The cause of death has not yet been announced, although Lyons said police are investigating it as a homicide. McDougal remains in police custody pending his first court appearance.