Suspect knew little girl well before abduction

Family members tell Action News 5 the abduction and assault in Mississippi may have been about jealousy and revenge.  They say suspect Michael Pruitt was outraged when he pulled up outside the little girl's house early Saturday morning.  And that the girl knows him so well, that she just ran out to his car.

28 year-old Michael Pruitt met the judge and heard his charges.  For some, it brings closure to a weekend of worst-held fears.

A little girl abducted.

A manhunt.

Then, the discovery of the six year-old's body.  She was alive.

Now, prosecutors say Pruitt sexually assaulted her before shooting her in the head and abandoning her.

"It really freaks me out because I have a baby too.  I mean, it could have been.  It coulda.  I don't know," says Joni Martin.  For six years, Martin has lived next door to the man accused with the crime.

Michael Pruitt dated her cousin, Nicky Shaw.  They lived next door.  They have a child together.  He's nearly three.

But they spent a lot of time with the six year-old girl who Pruitt is charged with abducting and assaulting.  "I believe that he's known her for just about her whole life," says Martin.

Nicky Shaw was her baby-sitter.  "They've always hung out.  He's went over there with her for birthday parties and I mean, Nicky babysitted her every Saturday while her mama had to work."

The crime has taken this rural community by storm.

Shaw, the baby-sitter, has told us - through her family - that she doesn't want to talk.  "She's blaming herself, but nobody blames her for it.  She can't help his actions," says Martin.  She says the couple broke up two weeks ago and that Pruitt may have been provoked when the little girl's mother tried to set Nicky Shaw up on a date with someone new.