BAYTOWN, Texas — The man accused of killing his ex-wife in the hours before Hurricane Harvey admitted to strangling her, according to the local sheriff.
Detectives discovered the body of the missing 37-year-old realtor Crystal McDowell after two weeks of searching amid the destruction left behind by the deadly hurricane. McDowell’s body was found Saturday in a wooded area in the western part of the county, reports CBS affiliate KHOU.
Steven McDowell, 44, has been charged with murder in the case. Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told CBS News that the suspect confessed to strangling the mother of two young children in his home.
Crystal McDowell was last seen in the Houston suburb of Baytown on August 25, a day before Harvey reached Texas. Her disappearance was first noticed that afternoon when she missed a meeting, and her uncle Jeff Walters reported her missing the next day.
Hawthorne says the timing of her disappearance was not linked to the hurricane.
The sheriff says McDowell’s children, ages 5 and 8, are currently in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.