Saturday brought sad news for the family of Crystal McDowell of Baytown, Texas. The 37-year-old mother of two had been missing for two weeks, before Hurricane Harvey hit the region, and her body was found this weekend.

“This case was about trying to bring Crystal McDowell home and we’ve made that happen,” said Sheriff Brian Hawthorne of the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office told ABC 13 on the discovery of McDowell’s body.

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Though she went missing around the time Hurricane Harvey hit the southeast region of Texas, authorities were quick to assert that the hurricane was not the cause of her disappearance.

Her ex-husband, Stephen Wayne McDowell, is charged for her murder, though no motive for the crime has been from the sheriff’s office.

McDowell, a realtor, “was last seen on surveillance video at her boyfriend’s home. She was on her way to pick up her two children at Stephen McDowell’s home,” ABC 13 reports.

That was on Aug. 25.

After missing several appointments, McDowell’s uncle reported her missing a day later later.

A few days after that, on Aug. 29, the woman’s abandoned car was found in front of a Motel 6. Her body was later found 20 miles from the car.

“We don’t believe she parked it there,” Sheriff Hawthorne said before her body was found, according to ABC News. “We believe that whoever parked it there had hoped that somebody would take it. They left the car unlocked and they left the keys in the console.”

The search for McDowell began on Aug. 29, and it ended on Sept. 9.

McDowell and her ex-husband were reportedly fighting prior to her disappearance.

“The week that she went missing, there were a lot of arguments, a lot of heated arguments, about various situations going on,” her boyfriend Paul Hargrave told ABC News.

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Her two children, ages five and eight, are currently with the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Betsi Fores About the author:
Betsi Fores is the managing editor for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @ejfores.
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