The June 5 episode of Dateline revisits the homicide of Crystal McDowell, who disappeared simply hours earlier than Hurricane Harvey hit her Houston, Texas suburb in August 2017.
As a result of overwhelming destruction attributable to the Class four hurricane, the seek for Crystal proved to be an arduous activity and remained unsolved till the perpetrator led investigators to her physique 15 days later.
What occurred to Crystal McDowell?
The realtor’s ex-husband, Steven McDowell, strangled her to loss of life throughout an argument on the morning of Aug. 25. Crystal had returned to his dwelling, the place she was staying quickly with their two younger children, after spending the night time together with her boyfriend.
Steven admitted to police on Sept. 9 that he put her in a chokehold after she informed him that she did not wish to be with him or have something to do with him. “I did not imply to harm her,” he mentioned throughout his confession. “I really like her. I might do something in my life to convey her again.”
Crystal’s aunt, Cindy Seratte, informed 48 Hours that there had been all types of pink flags all through the pair’s 10-year marriage. “He had such a passionate love for her. It was virtually unhealthy,” she famous.
Round their first marriage ceremony anniversary in 2008, Crystal filed for divorce, however referred to as it off as soon as Steven started making threats. “It was all the time, ‘Nicely if you happen to depart me, I am simply gonna kill myself,'” Crystal’s good buddy, L.J. Adams, defined.
She stayed with him for almost a decade, however the duo ultimately received divorced in June 2017, simply two months earlier than Crystal’s loss of life. “[Steven] was distraught, had all the time been distraught each time she tried to go away him,” D.A. Cheryl Lieck revealed.
Three days after Crystal had gone lacking, her Mercedes was discovered within the parking zone of a Motel 6, main investigators to examine the safety cameras on surrounding companies. Steven was noticed on the Shell gasoline station subsequent door, and some days later, footage turned up exhibiting him stepping out of her automobile.
On Sept. 8, 14 days into the seek for Crystal, Steven confessed to his college-aged daughter that he had murdered her former stepmom. “I requested him, ‘Are you aware the place the physique is?’ And he simply appeared away from me and simply, like, bawled his eyes out,” Krysta McDowell recalled to 48 Hours.
The next day, Steven introduced police to a densely wooded space not removed from his home the place he had buried the mom of his two youngest youngsters. Sheriff Brian Hawthorne described the terrain as “fairly powerful,” including, “It was a lotta work simply tryin’ to clear the bushes and the limbs in order that we may convey the physique out.”