CASSVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ A Missouri man and his friend have been
charged with rape and murder in the death of the man's
Rowan Ford's body was found in a cave Friday, nearly a week
after she was reported missing.
Authorities say the stepfather's friend confessed to the
slaying. They say an affidavit alleges that the men took Rowan from
her home to a camping trailer, where they both raped her.
Authorities say one of the men strangled the child with a cord,
although they're not sure which of them did it.
Officials say they expect prosecutors to file a kidnapping
charge against the friend, but not against stepfather David Spears,
because he was a legal guardian.
Spears' mother says he has admitted taking part in the crime.
The mayor of the village of Stella, Missouri, says the girl's
mother is ``numb'' and too upset to speak with reporters.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.