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Texas Man Arrested After Girlfriend's Body Found Wrapped in "Copious" Amounts of Plastic in Refrigerator

Chad Stevens claims he wrapped his girlfriend Heather Schwab in plastic because he didn't know what to do when she died at his house in the summer of 2022. 

By Elisabeth Ford
A police handout of Chad Stevens

Police found the remains of a missing Texas woman in the refrigerator of her boyfriend, who has now been charged in the case.

Chad Christopher Stevens, 42, has been arrested on charges of tampering with evidence with the intent to impair a human corpse after his girlfriend, 35-year-old Heather Louise Schwab, was found dead in his home, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by NBC Dallas affiliate KXAS-TV. He is also facing one count of assault causing bodily injury to a family member.

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Authorities in McKinney, Texas were executing a search warrant Sunday at a residence on Pearson Ave. when they discovered the woman’s body.

According to the affidavit, the sole entrance to the kitchen was hidden under a wall of sheetrock. After breaking down the makeshift wall, police found Schwab in the refrigerator wrapped in “copious” amounts of plastic wrap.

Police booked Stevens at the Collins County Detention Facility on a $150,000 bond, KXAS reported.

When was Heather Schwab reported missing?

Schwab’s mother, Tamara Schwab, filed a missing persons report with McKinney police on June 28. She told authorities that she did not have a good relationship with her daughter because of issues including Schwab’s drug use, and that she hadn't heard from her in more than a year, Dallas station KDFW reported, citing the arrest affidavit.

The woman’s mother also informed authorities about Schwab’s allegedly abusive relationship with Stevens, adding that they lived together. Tamara said that at different times in the past, Schwab had told her mother that she thought Stevens would eventually kill her and hide her body somewhere, KXAS reported.

A probable cause statement obtained by the outlet states that Stevens told Detective Monte Robertson that Schwab had left him and that he didn’t know where she was.

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Tamara then told Robertson that Stevens’ ex-wife claimed that Stevens killed the woman and buried her in his backyard. When Robertson asked the ex-wife himself, she said that Stevens joked about killing Schwab to his daughter, the detective stated.

Police issued a search warrant of his home on November 12, when they found Schwab’s body.

What happened to Heather Schwab?

According to the affidavit, Stevens said he hid Schwab’s body in his fridge after she had died in his home on July 26, 2022, because he didn’t know what to do. He gave detectives several conflicting stories, ultimately claiming that Schwab slipped in the shower and hit her head, according to KDFW.

Police believe that Schwab may have died around August 12, 2022, around the time a domestic disturbance call came in indicating that a woman was waving a firearm while a man screamed at Stevens' adress, the affidavit stated.

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“Our hearts go out to Heather’s family, friends, and neighbors during this extremely difficult time,” the McKinney Police Department said in a statement.

Schwab’s cause of death is still pending, according to KDFW. It is possible Stevens can be brought up on more charges once the medical examiner rules on her death.

The investigation is still ongoing.

This is not Stevens’ first run-in with the law. According to a separate arrest affidavit obtained by Dallas station WFAA, a woman who lived with Stevens from September 2022 to January 2023 said he assaulted her when she tried to move out.

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