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Man Charged With Killing, Dismembering Missing Woman Before Starting Apartment Fire
Friends and family of Sara Goodwin say she was last seen on Feb. 6, after someone allegedly abducted her from the street.
A man has been charged with the murder of a woman who disappeared earlier this month.
Henry David Cossette, 28, was arrested on Saturday after patrol officers responded to an “intentionally set fire” at around 3:00 a.m. in an apartment at 8600 South Course Drive, according to the Houston Police Department. Police say they found Cossette inside the apartment, and he allegedly admitted to killing a 19-year-old woman.
Cossette reportedly said that set the fire in an attempt to take his own life, according to court records obtained by NBC affiliate Click2Houston,
Cossette allegedly further told authorities that he'd left the victim’s body in south Houston and gave them an address, leading detectives to the recovery of human remains.
“While the identity of the deceased woman is pending official verification, information provided by Cossette led detectives to believe the body is of Sara Goodwin,” police stated.
Court records say the charges against Cossette are for the murder of Goodwin, according to Click2Houston. Cossette is accused of strangling the victim before dismembering her body and hiding the remains.
Friends and local advocates said that Sara Goodwin was last seen near South Course Drive on Feb. 6, when an unknown man allegedly pulled her into a white 2015-2017 Honda CRV, according to Click2Houston.
The Houston Police, however, stated at the time that it didn’t appear to be an abduction.
“The missing persons investigation is an open investigation,” police said in a statement to the Houston outlet. “From surveillance video, it does show that the missing person willingly got into the vehicle seen on camera.”
Goodwin’s cell phone was later recovered by her friends at the Victoria Park Apartment Complex at 8600 South Course Drive, according to KHOU 11.
Friends told KHOU 11 that Goodwin had been involved in sex work but emphasized that she was a loving person.
“She has a 15-year-old brother that she will die for… that she practically raises,” said Goodwin’s friend, Jessica Finn.
Those rallying behind Goodwin claimed investigators did little to help them in their efforts to find Goodwin, according to KHOU, and turned to local advocate Quanell X, who expressed concern that Goodwin was taken against her will.
Quanell X announced the news of Sara’s passing on his Facebook page.
“Greetings, brothers and sisters. It is with profound sadness that we inform you that our sister, Sara, was found,” he posted. “We ask that the entire city pray for Sara’s family. I thank God Allah that I was able to be a servant to her family.”
Cossette was charged with murder, arson and tampering/fabricating evidence in the 184th State District Court, according to the police statement. Jail records show he was booked with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, where he is being held on $1 million bond per count. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 23.
Requests made from Oxygen.com to the Harris County District Attorney's Office were not immediately returned.