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Ex-husband charged with missing Texas woman's murder

Posted at 7:49 AM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 07:49:51-04

BAYTOWN, TX (KPRC/CNN) - The body of a Texas woman who went missing shortly before Hurricane Harvey reached the state has been found.

Police say the storm is not to blame and have charged her ex-husband, 44-year-old Steven McDowell, with murder.

The search for Crystal McDowell, a 37-year-old Realtor and mother of two, began Saturday, Aug. 26, just as the hurricane was coming on-shore. She was last seen in Baytown, TX, and her car was found in floodwater at a Motel 6.

Two weeks later, her body was discovered in a wooded area not far from her home.

Police said Crystal McDowell was very active on social media, so she had not posted to her Facebook page in a couple of days, it raised suspicion. Her uncle hadn't heard from her and called her ex-husband who said she had messaged him and was coming to pick up her kids to take them to Dallas, but that she never arrived.

Police, however, say she did.

"She did make it to see her kids that particular day." Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said.

Authorities have not revealed a cause of death or motive, but after two weeks of searching, the case has come to an end.

"This case was about trying to bring Crystal McDowell home," Hawthorne said. "We've made that happen, and we've been able to charge who caused the disappearance."

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