Harvey Mystery: Realtor and Mom of 2 Vanished as Texas Braced for Storms
Her family fears foul play may have been covered up by the devastating storm.
Crystal McDowell, a 38-year-old realtor in the Houston area, wrote "stay safe out there!" on Facebook as the storm approached Thursday night.
The next morning, she was seen on security cameras in her boyfriend's home as she left, reportedly heading to her ex-husband's house to pick up their two kids. Her plan was to drive inland to Dallas, where she would wait out the storm.
Her boyfriend, Paul Hargrave, became concerned when she stopped responding to his texts.
“I started to get worried because the storm was coming in," he told Inside Edition. "I wanted to make sure she was OK."
Her ex-husband, Steven McDowell, reportedly told police she never showed up at his home.
Worried relatives reported her missing Saturday, just as Hurricane Harvey was lashing the Houston area.
She was raised by her uncle, Jeff Walters, who took her in when she was 11 years old following the death of her parents.
Her disappearance has left him heartbroken.
“Our main objective is just to get Crystal back home,” he told Inside Edition.
Her Mercedes was found Tuesday in a flooded motel parking lot. Efforts by authorities to determine what happened to her have been hampered by the natural disaster.
Cops do not believe she is a victim of the storm.
"I think that there was probably some animosity between boyfriends and the husband. The husband might think that the boyfriend had something to do with it," Brian Hawthrone of the Chambers County Sheriffs Office told CBS News. "The boyfriend might think that husband has something to do with it. Which is exactly what we are faced with right now.
Now her loved ones are thinking the unspeakable that Hurricane Harvey could have been used as a smokescreen to cover up a terrible crime.
Her boyfriend told Inside Edition that he is innocent and has been helping police with the investigation. He also says he has never met her ex-husband, but has no animosity towards him.
The ex-husband has not responded to Inside Edition’s requests for comment.
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