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9-year-old girl found dead in cave, two suspects arrested

According to MSNBC, a 9-year-old girl was found dead in a cave in southwest Missouri Friday and two suspects have been arrested.

Rowan Ford was reported missing by her mother on Nov. 3 and police authorities are 99 percent sure the body they found was Rowan's.

The names of the two suspects in custody have not yet been released but both are said to be in their mid-20s.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said the names have not been released because charges have not yet been filed.

The girl's body was found on private property just 10 miles south of her hometown Stella, which has a population of about 200.

Authorities have yet to figure out how the girl died. "We do know it was a homicide, " Copeland said.

The girl's stepfather, David Spears and two of his friends were with the girl the night she was reported missing. Spears had left the girl at their home until midnight and didn't check on her.

According to the Star Tribune, authorities believe the girl was killed in Barry County and then taken to nearby McDonald County.

The McDonald County Deputy found the girl after he had stopped by on his way to work after recalling there was a cavern there. FBI authorities began collecting evidence at the scene.