In 2017, Crystal McDowell, a realtor and mom of two, disappeared simply as Hurricane Harvey was hitting Houston, Texas, which made trying to find her extremely troublesome for the native authorities. Finally, nevertheless, their investigation led them to her ex-husband Steven McDowell. Forward of the Dateline NBC episode about Crystal’s disappearance, titled “Earlier than the Storm” and airing Friday, June 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, right here’s what you must learn about his trial and the place he’s now.
Steven McDowell Is Serving 50 Years in a Texas Jail
Two weeks after Crystal was reported lacking by her uncle, Jeff Walters, Crystal’s ex-husband Steven McDowell was arrested and charged along with her homicide. He took authorities to her physique, which he had hidden in a closely wooded space. District Legal professional Cheryl Lieck instructed 48 Hours in June 2018 that they by no means would have discovered Crystal’s physique in the event that they hadn’t been led straight to it.
Throughout the trial, Steven’s protection claimed that the 2 argued and he strangled her in a heat-of-the-moment killing, however the jury noticed issues in another way. They discovered him responsible of her homicide and on June 12, 2019, sentenced him to 50 years in jail. In accordance with the Texas Tribune, Steven is being held on the Anderson County, Texas jail often known as the H.H. Coffield Unit. His projected launch date is September 2067, however he might be eligible for parole in 2042.
Hurricane Harvey Made it Very Laborious to Examine Crystal’s Disappearance
In August 2017, simply as Hurricane Harvey was about to make landfall in Texas, McDowell was seen leaving her boyfriend Paul Hargrave’s home in Baytown, Texas, early within the morning on August 25. When she stopped responding to texts and calls, Crystal’s uncle Jeff contacted her ex-husband Steve, who claimed Crystal was presupposed to have come to the home to select up their two kids, Madden and Maui, however she by no means confirmed up.
The native authorities started making an attempt to find Crystal, however when Hurricane Harvey hit the realm, the investigation was thrown into chaos.
“It was horrible. The rain wouldn’t cease. It simply wouldn’t cease. … We had deputies that had been flooded out of their properties. One in all our investigators misplaced his total home. Our native Texas Ranger and his spouse had been flooded out of theirs,” stated D.A. Lieck, including that they nonetheless continued to look to Crystal as greatest they may.
When the floodwaters receded a number of days later, Crystal’s flooded out Mercedes Benz was discovered within the car parking zone of the Baytown Motel 6. Ultimately, safety footage from the motel confirmed Steve parking the automobile there and leaving. Later safety footage caught Steve on digital camera placing one thing in a trash can at an area gasoline station, however the contents of the can might by no means be examined as a result of they had been washed away by the flood.
As authorities investigated additional, they found that Steve and Crystal’s divorce had not been very amicable. Then only a few days earlier than her demise, Crystal uninvited Steve from a household cruise that her new boyfriend was attending, which investigators imagine began Steve’s downward spiral.
Dateline NBC usually airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, although the June 5 episode aired at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
READ NEXT: Husband Charged in Spouse’s Homicide Commits Suicide After Arrest