Ex-husband charged in Baytown woman's murder appears in court

- A shackled Steven McDowell entered a Chambers County Courtroom where he will was appointed a lawyer. Now formally charged with murder, he was a "person of interest" from the very beginning when his ex-wife first disappeared.

"He has been a very cooperative. He was a person of interest as were others and everyone including Mr. McDowell has been very cooperative," said Sheriff Brian Hawthorne.

It was just before Harvey hit. Real estate agent Crystal McDowell left her new boyfriend's house to go pick up the kids at her ex-husband Steven's home. She was living with Steven while her townhome was under renovation. She disappeared. They found her flooded out car in a motel parking lot. Two weeks later Steven led investigators to her body not far from where they found her car. 

The sheriff says after repeated interviews  he confessed to strangling her at the home, but their two kids were not there.  So what was the motive? Was he jealous of her new relationship?

"It was not discussed with myself, so I can't. It may have been something more detailed in the interview but I'm not aware of any," said Sheriff Hawthorne.

He is being held on a half a million dollar's bond. The children are staying with a relative of Crystal's.

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