Previous child victim of man charged in Audrii Cunningham's murder says system failed her and Audrii

Luke Jones Image
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Previous child victim of man charged with Audrii Cunningham's murder speaks
Carissa Davis, who at 10 years old accused Don Steven McDougal of trying to take off her pants, speaks after Audrii Cunningham's death.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Carissa Davis was one year younger than Audrii Cunningham when the man accused of Audrii's murder tried undressing her.

In March 2007, Davis - then 10 years old - said she was at a family gathering at her uncle's Brazoria County home.

SEE MORE: 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham's body found in Trinity River, Polk Co. Sheriff says

Don Steven McDougal's sisters were friends of the family and brought him along, she said.

"He came into the room that me and my cousin were sleeping in," Davis recounted in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News.

Davis said McDougal yanked her cousin from their bed and then got into bed with her.

"(He) tried to take down my pants, and I immediately jumped up at that moment," Davis said. "I remember looking at him. I was like, 'Do you know how old I am?'"

Davis said she raced for the door, but McDougal followed.

"He grabbed me, and when he did, I just swung my arm, and I hit him," Davis said.

That didn't stop McDougal from searching the house for her, but she said she alerted her aunt before he found her.

Davis said she recognized McDougal instantly when his photo surfaced after Audrii's disappearance and now wonders what would have happened had she been unable to break free.

SEE MORE: Family friend charged with capital murder in Audrii Cunningham's death

"Everybody was still asleep. I mean, my uncle's backyard was the woods. I mean, it could have been me," she said.

McDougal pleaded guilty to enticing a child and was sentenced to two years in prison but got credit for almost one-and-a-half years served.

Notably, he wasn't required to register as a sex offender and went on to face numerous other charges.

"I think Brazoria County definitely failed me and failed Audrii and possibly more," Davis said.

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