Divers have discovered a body believed to belong to Melissa Rene Sowders, the pregnant Texas woman who has been missing since December 26. Reports state that the divers found the woman’s body in a creek close to her ex-husband’s home.
According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Sowders was last seen the evening of December 26 at a McDonald’s where she was supposed to meet her ex-husband, Matthew Sowders, and their youngest daughter.
ABC News reported that police had questioned Matthew multiple times during the investigation into Melissa’s disappearance, but say that he wasn’t cooperating with them. There are conflicting reports as to whether Matthew has been named a suspect in the case. ABC News reported that police have not named him a suspect, but the Houston Chronicle reported this evening that Matthew Sowders, 28, has been arrested and charged with capital murder.
Police said early on in the investigation that they believed that foul play had played a part in Melissa’s disappearance. Her family also believed that was a possibility. Melissa’s cousin, Michelle Bierman, told reporters the following:
“As far as we know he has threatened her numerous times. He has had a knife to her throat before. We think he just went off the edge when he found out she was two months pregnant with Jason’s [her boyfriend’s] child. He wasn’t ever abusive to the kids, only to Melissa.”
Dustan Neyland, a Houston lawyer for Matthew Sowders, said his client was cooperating with authorities. “Matthew’s parents feel they have lost a daughter, and he has lost the mother of his children, whom he loves very much. They are very much in mourning. Matthew had nothing to do with the death and maintains his innocence.”
Now that the body has been found, Melissa Rene Sowders’ family says they are torn up. Bierman told reporters that “All we think about is getting her home so we can give her a proper burial.”
[Image via Shutterstock/Stephanie Stevens]