Police say ex-husband confesses to killing woman, 37, who disappeared hours before Hurricane Harvey hit

Crystal McDowell (Facebook).

Police say they’ve solved the mystery of a case in which a 37-year-old mother of two and real estate agent went missing in the hours before Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas coast late last month. Authorities say a Houston man has made a tearful confession in which he said that he strangled his ex-wife to death in their home while their children were in the next room.

Investigators say Steven McDowell, 44, told them that after he and his ex-wife, Houston realtor Crystal Seratte McDowell, divorced in June, she had continued to live in his house while her place was remodeled, according to an ABC News 13 report. Crystal’s new boyfriend, Paul Hargrave, who began dating the realtor three weeks before her alleged murder, had previously speculated McDowell deliberately took advantage of the chaos caused by Hurricane Harvey in an attempt to hide the killing. Crystal had reportedly gone to collect her children from her ex-husband’s house the day before the hurricane hit Houston.

“I believe he knew exactly what he was doing. I think he knew the storm was coming in and this would help cover his tracks,” said Hargrave. “I think I had a lot to do with his decision to do this and I can’t help but feel responsible for that.”

Crystal’s uncle, Jeff Walters, who had taken care of her since her parents’ death when she was 11, said that she had recently started working with him in real estate.

“She said herself she was the happiest she had ever been in her life,” said Walters.

According to police, McDowell burst into tears and confessed to the murder while being investigated in relation to her disappearance, and later showed investigators the Chambers County woodland where he had hidden her body.

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.


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