As Hurricane Harvey has devastated much of Houston, there has been an upturn in looting, pillaging, and other unscrupulous practices in its wake. However, it appears that something far more vile and tragic has occurred.
It seems that the body of a Houston realtor who went missing just prior to Harvey’s full impact has been discovered. It turns out she was murdered, and the culprit is her ex-husband, who has been charged with the murder, according to Fox News.
Realtor Crystal Seratte McDowell was last seen on August 25th as she left her boyfriend’s home to go to Houston to pick up her two children, who she shares custody of with her ex-husband. Supposedly, her plan was to pick up her two kids, ages 5 and 8, to ride out the storm in Dallas.
Tragically, she never made it to her destination.
Concern first arose when she uncharacteristically refused to respond to any calls or texts. When her uncle, Jeff Walters, reached out to her ex-husband Steven McDowell, Walters said that, “He said she had sent him a message saying she was coming to pick up the kids to go to Dallas, but she didn’t show.”
“We aren’t sure she sent those messages to him, though. She never told me of plans to go to Dallas for the storm,” he continued as he recounted the day.
However, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office moved to arrest Steven McDowell on Saturday after they had discovered what they believed were the remains of his now deceased ex-wife. Hurricane Harvey wasn’t the reason she went missing, as her ex-husband would have wanted people to believe.
Four days after McDowell went missing, her Mercedes-Benz was found in a flooded parking lot of a Motel 6. Her remains were discovered in a hidden wooded area in Chambers County, more than 20 miles from where her submerged Mercedes was parked.
At first, the sheriff’s office said there were nine persons of interest in the crime, but eventually narrowed down the list of the most probable suspects to Steven McDowell over the weekend. Of course, flooding-related issues caused significant delays to the investigation. Two of the investigators were flooded out of their homes, necessarily taking their attention away from the case.
“We are hampered by some of the flood issues, but we are as aggressive as ever trying to locate and find Crystal McDowell,” said Brian Hawthorne of the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office earlier this week, according to CBS News.
Hawthorne commented to CBS News that, “I think that there was probably some animosity between the boyfriend and the husband. The husband might think that the boyfriend has something to do with it. The boyfriend might think that the husband has something to do with it. Which is exactly what we are faced with right now.”
It’s ultimately a tragic affair. It seems that even when Americans are coming together in the face of these horrendous natural disasters, there will always be people who try to take advantage of the situation for their own gain.
We can only hope and pray that justice will be done.