Jasmine Miller: Man charged with murder after he ‘lured six-year-old into motel room with snacks then strangled her’

The child's body was found underneath John P Roberts' bed

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The Independent US

A man in the US state of Missouri has been charged with murder, after he allegedly used snacks to lure a six-year-old girl into his motel room and then strangled her, according to police.

Officers discovered the body of Jasmine Miller in the Windsor Inn motel in Branson, southwest Missouri - where she was staying with her family - in a room inhabited by suspect John P Roberts, 55.

Roberts, from Branson, remains in jail after he appeared in court on Monday charged with first-degree murder over Jasmine’s death.

After Jasmine went missing on Saturday night, around 100 helped to look for her, AP reported.

The child’s body was later found under Roberts’ bed in his room at the motel, according to a statement from the Taney County police force, which also said the man had lured Jasmine with snacks.

The child and her family were living at the motel as part of a temporary living arrangement, Taney County Prosecutor Jeffrey Merrell said.

Police believe Roberts acted alone, and said he was already on bail for a burglary case.

John P Roberts has been charged with murder (Taney County Police)

Paul Dubois, whose daughter was friends with Jasmine, is planning a candlelit vigil for the young victim.

The 36-year-old, who has diagnosed with cancer, told AP reporters that when Jasmine approached him at a birthday party where he was unable to push children on park swings, he hugged him and told him it “doesn’t matter” that he “can’t do what other parents can do.”

The Cedar Ridge Primary School where Jasmine had attended plans to offer counselling to students affected by the tragedy, a school official told KY3 News.

Jasmine's grieving family have set up a fundraising page to help pay for her funeral, with $800 (£500) of their $7000 (£4500 ) goal gained so far. 

Roberts is to appear in court on 10 March.