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Audrii Cunningham's mother says she 'abandoned' 11-year-old murder victim – leaving her in the care of her father – Perez Hilton – Monomaxos

The mother of Audrii Cunningham feels like she has β€œlet down” her daughter.

As we reported, the 11-year-old girl who lived with her father, Joshua Cunningham, in Livingston, Texas – was reported missing after she failed to make it to school on February 15th. A large-scale search for Audrii began. And authorities were immediately led to a person of interest in the case, a man by name Don Steven McDougal.

McDougal had been a friend of the young girl's father. He lived in a trailer behind the Cunninghams and sometimes watched Audrii, including taking her to her bus stop. Mind you, this guy has a criminal record in the past, including being accused of luring a minor in 2008. Oh yeah, and a swastika tattoo. And the father not only left him with his little daughter, he even abandoned him alone sometimes with her. What the hell.

Related: Two young adults charged with murder in shooting at Super Bowl parade in Kansas City

On the day she disappeared, Don took her to the bus stop – and was the last person to see her alive. He was eventually arrested on an unrelated charge. But based on his statements, phone records and surveillance footage, police eventually managed to find Audrii's body in the Trinity River. Absolutely heartbreaking. Charging documents said the child was discovered tied with a rope to a large rock at the bottom of the river. This rope matched a rope that had been seen in Don's “vehicle during a traffic stop” days earlier. Murder charges have now been brought against the 42-year-old.

Audrii's family is devastated by everything that has happened, especially her mother. She deeply regrets leaving her little one in her father's care. Before Audrii was found dead, Cassie Matthews gained weight Facebook saying in an emotional post that she had β€œabandoned” her daughter. Per DailyMail.comthe mom wrote:

“I just want to make this clear once: I failed my daughter by being forced into submission by her father's family and made her believe she was in a safe, loving and normal home with her father.”

And it obviously wasn't Audrii. Cassie further clarified that she did not lose custody of her child due to failed drug tests – a rumor she accused Joshua of spreading. She insisted she had “nothing to hide” and criticized others for “spreading bullshit” online during this difficult time:

“This is my daughter and I have never lost any rights to her, so as her parent I will interfere in whatever I please regarding my child!” I'm tired of all the bullshit and I'm tired of being silent β€œTo be afraid and forced into submission once again by people I don’t fucking know.”

We can't imagine the pain and heartache Cassie must be feeling after losing Audrii. Our thoughts are with her as she mourns.

If you seriously suspect child abuse, call or go to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453

[Image via ABC 7 Chicago/YouTube, Polk County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook]
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