The No. 1 suspect has admitted to the crime: Police in Texas say Steven McDowell confessed to strangling his ex-wife, realtor Crystal McDowell. He made a "tearful, remorseful confession," says Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne, per KTRK. The confession actually came over the weekend after several days of questioning, and Hawthorne says McDowell then led police to his ex-wife's body. "Once we started the investigation, there were a number of family and friends who expressed concerns about the ex-husband," says the sheriff. McDowell is in custody on murder charges.
Crystal McDowell, 36, went missing one day before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. She had texted her boyfriend to say she was going to her ex's house in Baytown—they divorced in June, and she was still living there while her place was being remodeled—but Steven McDowell, 44, initially told police that she'd never shown up. A few days later, her car was found in a flooded motel parking lot nearby. The couple have two kids, ages 5 and 8, who are now in the custody of child services. Hawthorne also addressed a troubling detail: Despite rumors on social media, he said police have no evidence to suggest the children witnessed the murder.