Pregnant Woman Murder: Husband Snaps After Learning Unborn Baby Is Not His

Nathan Francis

A pregnant woman murder case took another twist this week when investigators in Houston released new details into the brutal killing of Melissa Sowders.

Investigators say Melissa was killed by Matthews Sowders, her husband of eight years who recently had filed for divorce. Melissa was pregnant with her fifth child when she was murdered the day after Christmas, but police said her husband was not the father of the newest unborn child.

Matthew had actually filed for divorce in October, but a source who knew the couple said the baby's paternity was a contentious point.

Police have laid out a strong case against Matthew Sowders in the pregnant woman murder, including a witness who claims he admitted to the crime.

"The defendant came to her residence on December 26, she stated he was soaking wet and his truck was covered in mud. He told her she strangled her to death after he pulled a gun on her," a prosecutor said in court. "He said he stuffed her into a large black trash can and transported to Cypress Creek and there he submerged her body."

Police would later find the pregnant, half-naked, and strangled body of Melissa Sowders in the creek. They said the body was identified from her tattoos, which included the name Matt for her estranged husband.

Other evidence came from a neighbor who came to the couple's door shortly after the alleged murder.

"She observed him to be sweating and to be nervous," said the prosecutor. "She observed what she believed to be the feet and lower legs of a female in the apartment...the defendant then shut the door before reportee could see any additional parts of the body."

Sowder appeared in court on Friday, where much of the evidence was presented.

"You're here on a charge of capital murder, and I believe it involves the murder of two people, including an unborn child," a court official told the murder suspect at a probable cause hearing.

Matthew denies involvement in the murder of his pregnant wife.

"My client is not guilty. He has done not harm to Melissa Sowders. We'll have to clear his name in court at this point," said Matthew Sowders' attorney, Dustan Neyland.

The pregnant woman murder could still lead to one more death. Matthew Sowders is charged with capital murder and would likely be headed to death row if convicted.