Downing Charged With Step-Daughter's Murder

For more than a month, he's been a "person of interest." Now, 32-year-old Sean Downing is charged with capital murder in the death of his 15-year-old step-daughter.

For nearly six weeks, investigators have been analyzing clues in hopes of finding Robin Weatherford's killer. Tuesday, they received test results from the state crime lab linking Downing to a bloody palm print found at the murder site.

Sean Downing hadn't been seen since the day before his stepdaughter's body was found in a shed near their Simon Boulevard home.

On Saturday, he was arrested in Southwest Louisiana for fighting with a coworker on the fishing boat where he was working.

When authorities ran a check on Downing, they saw he was wanted for questioning in connection with Robyn Weatherford's murder. They contacted Captain Louis Miller who paid Downing a visit.

"We knew we needed his fingerprints," Miller said.

The palm print they took from Downing matched the one found on the wall of the shed where his stepdaughter's body was found. That tied Downing to the scene, but investigators say they aren't sure the man acted alone.

"We don't know who all was involved. When we get to the bottom of it, we'll make our determination and go forward with charges if there's anyone else involved in her murder."

For now, Sean Downing is the only person charged with the murder. But murder isn't the only charge he faces.

"The underlying facts on the affidavit for a capital murder charge is sexual battery."

Miller says investigators will most likely bring Downing back to Ocean Springs Wednesday.

by Josh Ridgdell