Hurricane homicide: The sad tale of Baytown’s deadly love triangle

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BAYTOWN, Texas - With Hurricane Harvey approaching, a Baytown realtor disappeared without a trace until she turned up murdered, allegedly killed by her own husband.

"It's shocking!" Baytown resident James Evans said. "It was shocking that he did something like that."

"It hurt," Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne admitted. "It hurt to have this kind of a crime take place in a community that is actually very well known for how safe it is and what a great place it is to raise your family."

After the 37-year-old real estate agent Crystal McDowell went missing on August 26th, everyone wondered 'Where's Crystal?'

"So, I begin to get worried after she didn't start replying back to my text messages," Crystal's boyfriend Paul Hargrane shared.

"It just didn't make sense for a well-to-do woman like this who by all accounts loved her kids to just disappear," Baytown Sun Newspaper's Matt Hollis declared.

Then came a hurricane and in the swirl of the storm Crystal's killer may have come apart.

"The suspect- Steve McDowell directed us to an area where he had placed the body," the Sheriff tells NewsFix.

Authorities found McDowell's body on September 9th, and they say McDowell's ex-husband Steven Wayne McDowell tearfully confessed to strangling his ex-wife in the living room while their two young children were in another room in the house!

"It's very devastating what has happened in the fact that their mother was missing and now ultimately has become a victim of homicide and a victim of family violence," Hawthorne expressed.

Crystal's divorce from Steven McDowell was finalized in June.

But perhaps Crystal's ex became filled with jealousy as she soon had a new man in her life yet, the mother of two was still living under the same roof with her ex-husband!

"It's sad that he would do something like that, but some people just do stuff that they shouldn't do," Evans suggested.

Now Steven McDowell faces a felony murder charge.

"Doesn't feel like reality," Paul revealed. "It doesn't feel like she's gone."

And what does Crystal's boyfriend Paul have to say to her ex now?

For that and more chilling details in this horrific crime don't miss 'Crime Watch Daily' right here on CW 39 tomorrow at 4 am and 12 Noon.