Stoddard County Homicide Investigation

Stoddard County Homicide Investigation
By: CJ Cassidy

STODDARD COUNTY, MO --New details on the homicide investigation involving a 12-year-old girl in Stoddard County.  Police now have a 19-year-old suspect in custody at the Stoddard County Jail, but no formal charges have been filed at this time.

We also know the young victim is Miranda Dowdy of Poplar Bluff.

Police spent almost all day Tuesday interviewing people, and Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner says people in the area have no reason to panic. He calls Dowdy's death an isolated incident

A family member found Dowdy's body in an old tool shed less than a mile away from a relative's house where she was last seen.
Autopsy results indicate foul play, but police are still not saying exactly what killed her.
Meanwhile, funeral arrangements for Miranda Dowdy are planned for Wednesday at the Rainey Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter.

A visitation will be from 10 am to 2 pm. Funeral services will follow at 2 pm.

We still don't the relationship between the suspect and Miranda Dowdy, but experts say more than 90% of the time, juvenile victims are attacked by someone they know.
Stoddard County Juvenile Officer Mike Davis says it's never too early to talk to your children about staying safe.
"A lot of children who leave with a personal acquaintance never tell their parents they're going. A lot of cases, if they would just stop and say mom and dad I'm leaving with so and so, their parents might say that's not someone we know," Davis says.
Officer Davis says watch for non-verbal clues from your children, and let them know it's alright to speak up when something goes wrong.