10 September, 2017
According to authorities and news reports, Crystal never arrived on August 25 to pick up her two children, 5 and 8, from her ex-husband's home in the Houston area after she left her boyfriend's home earlier that day less than 18 miles away.
Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told CBS This Morning in August that he was "very, very confident" that McDowell was not a victim of the storm.
She was reportedly planning to go to Dallas with her children, ages 5 and 8, to ride out the storm.
Police have charged the ex-husband of a Houston-area realtor who was last seen before Hurricane Harvey in connection with her death.
Those close to her became anxious when, uncharacteristically, she failed to respond to telephone calls and texts.
Jeff told Dateline in the days after Crystal disappeared that he contacted Crystal's ex-husband Steven, with whom she was sharing a residence in Baytown, Texas, while work on her townhouse was being finished. Her uncle said McDowell never talked about their fighting, only that they "had their disagreements". "I have reservations about believing that she sent that message", Walters said.
Surveillance cameras inside the ex-husband's home captured her leaving the property. The Chambers County Sheriff's Office launched a missing person investigation and posted information about the case on social media, but the department and many others in southeast Texas are overwhelmed with storm response.
"Tragedy struck into the hearts of friends and family across the nation", Crystal McDowell's boyfriend, Paul Hargrave, told ABC News in a statement.
Walters said on his Facebook page on Saturday: "She is a light in the heavens that can never be extinguished..." Her auto was found several days ago submerged in Harvey's waters at a hotel about seven miles from her home. "She is an Angel that watches over us all with that bright smile".