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Sheriff: Baytown realtor was strangled in living room

Sheriff: Baytown realtor was strangled in living room”

McDowell's body was found Saturday in a wooded area in the western part of the county, reports CBS affiliate KHOU. Now her ex-husband, who is charged with her murder, is being held on $500,000 bond. Crystal's boyfriend, Paul Hargrave, is speaking out about her disappearance. "Our worst fears became a sad unwanted reality". Crystal had reportedly gone there to pick up her children. "Given the arguments they had the week prior to her being missing", Hargrave said.

Crystal McDowell, 37 and a mother of two, was last seen on video surveillance footage walking through the living room of boyfriend Hargrave's home and then getting into her auto - a black Mercedes Benz sedan - parked in the driveway August 25. Her disappearance was first noticed that afternoon when she missed a meeting, and her uncle Jeff Walters reported her missing the next day.

The next day, August 26, Hurricane Harvey slammed into Houston and three days later, on August 29, McDowell's Mercedes was found in the flooded parking lot of a Motel 6, 7 miles from her home. "They left the auto unlocked and they left the keys in the console".

The sheriff says McDowell's children, ages 5 and 8, are now in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. McDowell was nowhere to be found.

"The Baytown man accused of murdering his ex-wife on the eve of Hurricane Harvey offered a teary confession under questioning, " the Houston Chronicle reports. But after her body was found, investigators say her ex-husband, Steven McDowell, confessed to killing her. Hargrave says he wasn't shocked by news of McDowell's arrest.



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