Update 5/1/19 – According to the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, 44-year-old Steven Wayne McDowell tearfully confessed to strangling her, although no motive was immediately stated.
UPDATE 9/9/17 – Uncle Jeff says that Crystal’s body has been found in a wooded area of Chambers County. The area is close to Galveston.
“Crystal McDowell’s body has been found and her Ex-husband has been charged with Murder. She is a light in the heavens that can never be extinguished. She is an Angel that watches over us all with that bright smile,” posted Jeff.
Texas EquuSearch posted: “A body has been found that is thought to be that of 38-year-old Crystal, but the identification must still be positively confirmed by law enforcement investigators and medical authorities.”
UPDATE 9/1/17 – Evening: Jeff has posted: “Crystal McDowell’s phone pinging 1210 Park St. Baytown Texas we need people to help search.” At that location is Baytown Park Service Center.
UPDATE 9/1/17 – Crystal’s Uncle Jeff has graciously given me some facts surrounding the two individuals that were detained. The media and poster stated they were detained after a “foot chase.” Jeff told me, they did not run but they were walking from the motel to the bridge over Hwy 146. The Chambers County Sheriff Dept. has the lead on this case. Primetime justice will be doing a story on Crystal at 7:15PM tonight.
On Sept. 1, a video aired by CSB This Morning, shows the car is a match for the below photo. The authorities state the car was parked before Harvey struck and they are confident that she is not a victim of the storm. Crystal’s ex-husband, Steven McDowell as of June 2017, said she never showed up to pick up the kids. Also there is a video of Crystal at her boyfriend, Paul Hargrave’s home on Friday, the day before Harvey hit, preparing to leave. Paul is offering a $5,000 reward for information.
Information is running in reverse chronological order. Please scroll down to see first post.
UPDATE 8/31/17 – A new poster has been released by the family. It stated that the car was found at a Motel 6 in Mont Belvieu. And it also says a man and woman were detained by authorities after a short “foot chase.” Not “two dudes” as was stated in the photo below. Also, a new poster for Crystal has been done and I have posted it below. I also saw an article by CBS News that stated “someone spotted McDowell’s car.” This seems contradictory to what Jeff told me (see update below this) although “someone” could still be the family. There is also the screen capture photo (below this) where it states that who posted it was the woman’s daughter. We still do not have confirmation that picture is of Crystal’s car. But, it also says it was seen at a “complex” and we know now the car was found at a Motel 6. There is no way of knowing if the writer meant an apartment complex a business complex or even the motel itself. I have asked Jeff or clarification but have not heard back yet. Walters told CBS News that two people who were seen inside McDowell’s car were detained at the motel by police and taken in for questioning.
“They do not believe they were involved with Crystal’s disappearance,” he said.
UPDATE: Crystal’s car has been found by the family, according to Uncle Jeff that I talked with on Wednesday.
“The family found Crystal’s car on Sunday,” Jeff said in an IM message.
Two people are being questioned by the FBI. It is not clear as to why. I have heard they were found with the car and others said they were running from the car, but in the photo below you can see a black Mercedes. The license plate is covered by water. Crystal’s license plate was # HBB6351. We have no definite information that the photo below IS Crystal’s car. It could be a look alike.
Kevin posted on Crystal Facebook page: “Keep us posted. She was going to meet us for our walkthrough at 730 on Friday but couldn’t because the kids school was cancelled. Have not heard from her since.”
Crystal’s last post on Facebook was August 24 where she said, “Stay safe out there.”
Original story: Crystal Seratte McDowell from Baytown, Texas, went missing on Friday, August 25, 2017 sometime after sending a message to her Uncle Jeff. Baytown is one of the cities that has been suffering because of Hurricane Harvey.
Crystal is a realtor at her family’s office, Virginia Malone and Associates, LLC. and has been working there for a year. Uncle Jeff knows that Crystal was showing and closing on Friday. They are not sure of her schedule as they have not been able to access her computer as it was factory reset.
Uncle Jeff told Dateline that he contacted Crystal’s ex-husband, Steven McDowell because she had been sharing his home in Baytown while they were working on her home, to see if he knew where she was.
“He said she had sent him a message saying she was coming to pick up the kids to go to Dallas, but she didn’t show,” Jeff said. “We aren’t sure she sent those messages to him, though. She never told me of plans to go to Dallas for the storm.”
So, it is interested that Uncle Jeff isn’t sure she sent the message.
This weekend has been devastating for so many people after Harvey kept repeatedly hammering the coast. Although many were evacuated in other areas, Houston was not and many were caught in their homes after the water rose. It is theorized that maybe Crystal could be somewhere unable to contact the family, and that maybe she abandoned her car and that car is now underwater so it has not been found yet, either. The City of Baytown posted:
From the City of Baytown: We have experienced significant rainfall over the past 12 hours, causing significant flooding. Residents are asked to stay where they are and stay off the roads. Please do not call 911 unless it is a life threatening emergency. More rain is coming so please stay safe.
On August 23, Crystal posted, “I’ve never been happier in my life than I am right now. God is so good.”
Crystal may be driving a black Mercedes C-Class with Texas plates HBB-6351.