Ex-Husband Charged in Houston Agent’s Murder

September 13, 2017

The industry is mourning the loss of Crystal McDowell, a 37-year-old sales associate who worked for Virginia Malone & Associates in Baytown, Texas. The Houston-area real estate agent had disappeared just hours before Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

Chambers County Sheriff announced that McDowell’s body was discovered in a wooded area. Police have arrested and charged McDowell’s ex-husband, Steven McDowell, in connection with her death. He faces charges of first-degree murder.

McDowell’s disappearance was reported just before Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area. McDowell reportedly told her boyfriend on Aug. 25 that she was going to pick up her two children from her ex-husband’s house and then evacuate ahead of the hurricane. She was scheduled to show a new construction property in Crosby that morning, but the appointment was canceled due to the impending storm.

The next day, Hurricane Harvey slammed into Houston. McDowell’s car was found three days later on Aug. 29 in a flooded parking lot of a Motel 6 that was about seven miles from her home. Police said the car was left unlocked.

"Tragedy struck into the hearts of friends and family across the nation," Paul Hargrave, Crystal McDowell's boyfriend, told ABC News in a statement. "Our worst fears became a sad unwanted reality. Crystal has passed. However, Crystal's spirit will continue to grow and thrive through her children and those that knew her best. She will be missed deeply."

Source: “Missing Texas Real Estate Agent’s Body Found, Ex-Husband Charged With Murder,” ABC News (Sept. 10, 2017)