An Air Force Major in Texas has been formally charged with murder after the remains of his missing wife were found.
Major Andre McDonald, 41, was arrested on Saturday and charged with murder after police discovered the remains of Andreen McDonald, who has been missing since February 28. Parts of the 29-year-old woman's skull and some bones were found on July 11, east of Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis in San Antonio following a 134-day search. The remains were definitively identified as Andreen's by a medical examiner through dental records.
A statement from the sheriff's office confirmed the arrest and thanked the officers involved in the search for Andreen.
“The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit and CID unit did an amazing job on this investigation and because of their hard work we were able to break this case,” the statement read, according to the New York Daily News.
The fragments of skull and bone were found by a friend of the landowner, who alerted police.
Andre had previously been charged with tampering with evidence days after Andreen had gone missing. He spent a month in jail before posting a reduced bond and agreeing to wear a GPS monitor.
Police believe the couple's daughter, who is on the autism spectrum and mostly non-verbal, was present during the destruction of her mother's body, according to an arrest warrant obtained by KSAT of San Antonio, Texas.
Andreen previously told friends that Andre would likely be to blame “if she ever went missing or was found dead," according to an affidavit obtained by KENS 5 of San Antonio, Texas. A family friend added that the couple's daughter made comments "about Andre hurting mommy.”
The same friend said that the daughter had been seen acting out the manner in which police believe Andre disposed of the body when she was “playing in the backyard with her doll and placed her doll in a circle of rocks, broke some small sticks, and placed them over the doll … and asked for ‘the fire.’"
When Andreen had first been reported missing after failing to show up for work, Andre had said she was being treated at a nearby hospital but provided no proof. Investigators say he'd bought a shovel, a hatchet, gasoline and a “burn barrel," and had attempted to destroy the receipt. Blood and hair were allegedly found in the family's bathroom, and scorch marks where something appeared to have been burned was found on the property. Andre was similarly found to have had cuts on his hands shortly after Andreen's disappearance, authorities say.
A motive for the alleged killing remains unclear.
McDonald's bond has been set at $2 million.
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