HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Staff at Valerie McDaniel's veterinary clinic were visibly shocked by the news and asked the media to leave them alone during their moment of grief.
Prosecutors say McDaniel and her boyfriend, Leon Jacob, had both tried to hire a hitman to kill their exes. She was in a custody dispute over her daughter while he was trying to make a stalking charge against him go away. The hitman they beleived they had hired was an undercover officer. The pictures taken of the crime scene to prove the deeds were done were falsified and no one had been harmed.
McDaniel was able to post bond because this was her first offense, but Jacob was held without bond because of the previous stalking charge.
While people who know McDaniel believe she did indeed jump to her death from the balcony of the condominium she shared with Jacob, police say they will leave it up to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences to make the final identification.
Police found a body on the ground of the condominium complex in the Highland Village district with the death a result of an apparent suicide.
"We have a name, but. It's early," says Houston Police Department Detective P.J Villareal. "It is too early to divulge it."
In 2014, veterinarian Valerie McDaniel filed for divorce from her husband Marion McDaniel -- the man she would eventually be accused of trying to kill. According to her divorce decree, her ex-husband fared quite well in the split. He got the property on Tiki Island, half a share in Padre's Bar, which they co-owned, 100 percent of their pet cremation service and several bank accounts. She also owed him $1.25 million in cash. The divorce became final in August 2016.
Jacob was arrested along with Valerie on March 10. Police arrested them for hiring who they beileved was a hit man to murder her ex-husband and his ex-girlfriend. Jacob allegedly wanted his stalking case to go away.
Valerie and Jacob lived together in the Willowick Condominiums, but sources told FOX 26 News that at one time, Jacob lived right next door to Valerie and Marion McDaniel when they lived in a house in West University Place.
Property records show the condominium unit belongs to Golda Jacob. Sources tell FOX 26 she is Leon Jacob's mother and you will find the same name at the bottom of the McDaniel's divorce decree. She was Valerie's divorce attorney.