Man charged with murder in death of missing wife appears in court

Courtesy KTRK

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- We're learning more about how investigators say a man killed his estranged wife, whose body was reportedly recovered yesterday.

Matthew Sowders is charged with capital murder in the death of Melissa Sowders. This, after a body believed to be hers was pulled from Cypress Creek yesterday morning. Our cameras were rolling a few hours after that discovery as he was taken into custody.

Early this morning, Sowders was in probable cause court, where we learned more about the investigation as charges against him were read in court.

"You're here on a charge of capital murder, and I believe it involves the murder of two people, including an unborn child," read a court official.

According to court documents, a witness told investigators she came to Matthew Sowders' apartment the day Melissa Sowders disappeared, and when he opened the door, the witness saw what appeared to be a woman's feet and lower legs lying on the floor of the apartment.

She says Sowders shut the door before she saw anything else.

According to prosecutors, that same woman called Sowders later and let a deputy listen to conversation. That deputy says Sowders told the woman he had strangled his wife after she pulled a gun on him and ditched her car in the Greenspoint area.

Sowders denied that conversation took place.

Another witness told investigators Matthew Sowders came to her home on the evening of December 26 and confessed to killing his estranged wife. She said he was soaking wet and his truck was covered in mud. She also said Sowders told her he had strangled his wife after she pulled a gun on him.

Prosecutors say he told that witness he stuffed her into a large trash can and transported her to Cypress Creek, where he disposed of her body.

Melissa Sowders' family says she was in the process of divorcing Matthew Sowders. They say she was seeing someone else and was two months pregnant.

Matthew Sowders is being held without bond. His case will be tried in the 338th district court. If convicted of capital murder, he could face either the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

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