Crystal Serrate McDowell, went missing after texting her boyfriend that she was on her way to her ex-husband’s house, Aug 25, 2017, hours before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Tex.
The ex-husband of a Texas realtor who went missing ahead of Hurricane Harvey wept as he confessed to her murder, police said.
Steven McDowell on Saturday was arrested and charged with strangling Crystal Seratte McDowell. Following his tearful admission over the weekend, the 44-year-old Baytown man led investigators to his ex-wife’s body, which he left abandoned in a wooded area in the western part of the county, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Steven Wayne McDowell, [left], was charged with strangling his ex-wife Crystal McDowell, [right] on Aug 25 as Hurricane Harvey was approaching
Prior to McDowell’s arrest, officials had at least nine persons of interest.
37-year-old Crystal vanished after sending a text to her boyfriend, telling him she’d been on her way to her ex-husband’s house, 20 miles away in Baytown.
She had filed for divorce early in 2017 and the divorce was finalized three months before her disappearance. The mother-of-two she was still staying with her ex-husband while her townhome was remodeled.
After making a full confession on Saturday, accused killer Steven McDowell led investigators to the body of Crystal McDowell, who he admitted to strangling then leaving in a wooded area in the western part of the county.
Steven McDowell, ex-husband of Texas realtor who went missing hours before Hurricane Harvey charged with murder
Family search for Houston realtor Crystal McDowell, who remains missing, after disappearing in hours before Hurricane Harvey
Crystal McDowell’s uncle first, Jeff Walters, reported her missing on Aug. 26, just as Harvey made landfall in the coastal city of Rockport, but the deadly hurricane did initially stall investigation efforts. Four days late, authorities found her flooded car near a Motel 6, after a member of the public who saw her family’s announcements on social media called it in.
The couple’s children, ages 5 and 8, were allowed to stay with their father amid the search for Crystal. Following developments, they have been turned over to Child Protective Services as of the weekend.
Meanwhile Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne has debunked denied online rumors that the children saw the crime.
Steven McDowell [photo] was arrested September 9, 2017, and charged with murder, in the death of his ex-wife Crystal Serrate McDowell. The pair were recently divorced
The family called in a private investigator, and detectives questioned those who knew her best. Eventually, deputies brought in Steven McDowell, and wound up with a full confession, Hawthorne said. He was charged with murder.
Steven McDowell is being held on $500,000 bail and is slated to appear in court Tuesday. His motive in the killing is still unclear, authorities said.