Crystal Seratte McDowell was last seen August 25, before Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast. As the waters receded and the weeks-long search for her body came to a tragic end, authorities arrested her ex-husband in connection to her murder this past Saturday.
Now, that man, Steven McDowell, has confessed to the crime, according to the sheriff’s office.
“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.
He admitted to strangling his ex-wife and then led authorities to her body, located in a wooden area in the western part of the county.
“We really don’t have any motive at this point in time,” Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told the Chronicle.
Crystal McDowell, the 37-year-old mother of two, was last seen by her boyfriend on August 25. She was on her way to her ex-husband’s house, where she was staying while renovations were being done on her own home, the NY Daily News reports.
The following day when her uncle reported her missing, her friends knew something was wrong.
Her car turn up a few days later, flooded outside of a Motel 6.
“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.”
Following McDowell’s arrest Saturday, his children, ages 5 and 8, were taken into protective custody.
“Despite pervasive online rumors to the contrary, Hawthorne said there is no reason to believe the children saw the crime,” the Chronicle notes.
He is being held on $500,000 bond and will appear in court Tuesday.