Missing Persons

Houston Mom Who Went Missing Just Before Hurricane Is Found Dead, Ex-Husband Arrested

"I'm physically sick to my stomach and dizzy."

The body of a 37-year-old realtor and mother of two who went missing just hours before Hurricane Harvey slammed into Houston has been found, and now her ex-husband has been charged with murder.

Crystal McDowell’s body was found in a wooded area of Chambers County, Texas on Saturday. Her 2013 black Mercedes Benz was found last Tuesday in a flooded motel parking lot. According to Inside Edition, her slain body was discovered in the area where she was supposed to pick up her two children, ages 5 and 8, from her ex-husband Steven McDowell, 44.

Crystal and Steven were recently divorced. According to the Associated Press, Steven’s arrest was based on circumstantial evidence. Exactly how the mother died, has not yet been released to the public.

McDowell’s cousin Matt Petters expressed his grief on Facebook, “I’m sick... so sick... there are no words to how I feel. I'm physically sick to my stomach and dizzy. I hope he goes away for the rest of his life, but I want him to live. I want him to think about this every day for the rest of his life. … She didn’t deserve this. She didn’t have a drop of hate or selfishness in her bones. And to say that she was kind and loving is an extreme understatement I can’t say goodbye because it still doesn’t feel real. God willing, we will all see you again some day.”

Crystal was last seen leaving her boyfriend’s house just before she was supposed to pick up her kids from her ex-husband. She then had a scheduled meeting with a client. After, she planned to drive to Dallas to wait out the hurricane. But, she missed her client-meeting, which immediately led her uncle Jeff Walters to become suspicious.

According to CBS News, he reached out to Steven McDowell who showed him a text message saying she had taken the two kids to Dallas. Walters told CBS News, "I have reservations about believing that she sent that message.”

[ Photo: Chambers County Sheriff's Office and Facebook]

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