Searchers found a body Wednesday outside the southwest Missouri town where a 12-year-old girl disappeared two days earlier, but a positive identification could take up to 24 hours, the Missouri Highway Patrol said.
Adriaunna Horton of Golden City became the subject of a massive search after friends reported seeing her get into a vehicle Monday at a park where they had been playing. The driver, 34-year-old Bobby Bourne Jr. of Lamar, was alone when he was stopped about 90 minutes later and has since been charged with kidnapping.
Bourne was being held on $1 million bond in the Barton County jail. Adriaunna’s father, James Horton, has said that Bourne once worked for him and that their children played together.
The body was found about 1:50 p.m. in a rural area outside Golden City, the Highway Patrol said.
Patrol Sgt. Mike Watson declined to say precisely where the body was found or describe the condition. He said the search was suspended but investigators were still examining the scene.
DNA testing may be necessary to make a positive identification, Watson said. He said any additional charges against Bourne would be up to the county prosecutor.
Earlier Wednesday, relatives had expressed optimism that Adriaunna would be found safe.
Her grandfather, also named James Horton, described her as a lively, active child.
“She can run like a rabbit, and she’s double-jointed, and she’s smart, knows how to use a phone, and if she gets a chance, she’s gone,” the grandfather said.
The Barton County clerk’s office said Wednesday that a judge had ordered all documents in the case sealed, and it was unclear whether Bourne had a lawyer.
Adriaunna’s mother, Wendi Jackson of Overland Park, was in Golden City to be with relatives during the search.
Golden City is a town of 760 residents about 140 miles south of downtown Kansas City.