Body of Missing Texas Realtor Found, Ex-Husband Charged

Crystal McDowell disappeared the day before Harvey hit
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2017 2:00 PM CDT
Updated Sep 11, 2017 1:33 AM CDT
Body of Missing Texas Realtor Found, Ex-Husband Charged
Crystal McDowell.   (Texas EquuSearch)

One day before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Crystal Seratte McDowell disappeared after leaving her boyfriend's house in Baytown in the eastern part of the state. On Saturday, the Chambers County Sheriff's Office says it found the remains of the 38-year-old real estate agent in a wooded area—and have charged McDowell's ex-husband, Steven McDowell, with her murder, NBC News reports. Crystal McDowell was last seen leaving her boyfriend's house to go to her ex-husband's house, where she was living while work was being done on her own townhouse. Steven McDowell reportedly told concerned relatives that she sent him a message saying she wanted to pick up their two kids and take them to Dallas to ride out the storm, but never showed up.

Relatives were skeptical. "She never told me of plans to go to Dallas for the storm," says her uncle. Surveillance video inside Steven McDowell's home showed Crystal at the property, and her bag of business papers was found inside the house, per Fox News. Days before Crystal McDowell's remains were found, police found her car in a flooded motel parking lot, but they say they're sure she wasn't a victim of the storm. The couple's children are now in the custody of the Department of Family and Protective Services, ABC reports. (Read more Hurricane Harvey stories.)

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