Matthew Sowders, 28, faces capital murder charges related to the disappearance of his pregnant, estranged wife, Melissa, 26. The news comes as no surprise to Melissa's family, all of whom expected to find her dead, but has caused plenty of heartbreak for the family and that of her current boyfriend, with whom she was expecting a child.
Divers found a body at the bottom of Cypress Creek on Thursday morning but an autopsy has not confirmed that it is Melissa's body. However, investigators called Jason Sanford, Melissa's boyfriend, not long after they discovered the body.
"The detective called me asking what kind of tattoos were on her and so I explained a couple of the tattoos that I could remember, stars that were on her side and a tattoo of Matt's name on her waistline," Sanford told KHOU.
Authorities arrested Matthew that same day and he now faces capital murder charges that could get him the death penalty. His lawyer, for one, is surprised that Matthew was arrested, given that the autopsy has not proven it is Melissa.
"It's kind of more of a shock that he was arrested today so quickly after a body was found without any kind of autopsy or a cause of death being determined," Dustan Neyland said.
Melissa was last seen the day after Christmas, dropping her boyfriend off at work and then heading to McDonald's to pick up the four children she shared with Matthew. He filed for divorce in October and reportedly abused Melissa both physically and emotionally.
"Pretty much from the first day that we knew she was missing, and the circumstances of how she went missing, we knew. We knew. She was terrified of him (her ex-husband)," Melissa's cousin, Michelle Bierman told KHOU News previously. "At this point, it's been too long. It's been too long. The reality is she's not gonna come back alive."
Family said that Matthew was jealous of Melissa's new relationship and not happy with the fact that she was pregnant by her new boyfriend.