Ex-Husband 'Tearfully' Confesses To Strangling Houston Mom To Death: 'There'd Been Some Tension'

He and his ex wife were allegedly fighting over a cruise vacation.

The ex-husband of a mother of two who went missing just hours before Hurricane Harvey slammed into Houston has reportedly confessed to murdering her.

Realtor 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.

Now, the ex has allegedly revealed details about the killing in a tearful confession. According to the Baytown Sun, Steven led investigators to his ex-wife’s body. He had allegedly strangled Crystal in his home. Crystal had just recently started dating jewelry store owner, Paul Hargrave. She had spent the night at his home before going missing. Crystal’s last contact with anyone was when she had texted Hargrave stating that the roads were good.

“Someone did something to her,” Hargrave told Crime Online in an exclusive interview.

Hargrave said the estranged couple had been arguing about a family cruise the couple had planned to take their children on. Crystal no longer wanted her ex on board the ship. Instead, she allegedly wanted to take Hargrave.


Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told ABC 13 the ex husband appeared to show remorse in his confession.

“There had been some tension and stress, and had been some potential disagreements,” Hawthorne said.

Back in March, Crystal reportedly called police because Steven made threats to hurt himself and their children.

On Facebook, Hargrave paid tribute to his slain girlfriend, writing, “From west to east (coast), Canada to South Africa and everywhere in between. Your condolences and extraordinary support has touched my heart.”

Hargrave continued, “I am truly great full to everyone. I’m sorry I have not replied to those of you that have called and messaged me, I had to get away for a few days. I am not feeling well and not in a good mind set. Please keep Crystal’s children in your prayers as I cannot imagine the difficulty they are facing. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart, your presence is felt.”

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

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