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Estranged husband of missing woman charged with capital murder - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Estranged husband of missing woman charged with capital murder hours after body found

HARRIS COUNTY - Sources close to the investigation told Local 2 the estranged husband of missing pregnant mother, Melissa Sowders, has been arrested.

On Thursday morning, a Texas EquuSearch team recovered a body in Cypress Creek near the area where they were searching for Sowders.

We're still waiting on official word as to whether the body is that of Melissa Sowders, who's been missing for a week.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says the body was found near the residence of Sowders, 26, who was last seen on December 26 after she was supposed to meet her ex-husband, Matthew Sowders.

Matthew Sowders was taken into custody Thursday afternoon at a home in the Humble area and is now facing capital murder charges.

EquuSearch crews have spent the last several days searching in far north Harris County near the intersection of the North Freeway and Parramatta Lane. The body was found in the area around 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Melissa Sowders' family members told us when the mother of four disappeared she was trying to start a new life; extracting herself from a troubled marriage and preparing for the birth of her fifth child. Now they say they just want justice.

"I don't know why somebody could be so evil and do this to her. She never done nothing wrong to nobody or anything like that," said her sister, Amber Newsom.

Sheriff's detectives still don't know how Sowders died. Family members say specific tattoos let them know the body found by Texas EquuSearch volunteers in Cypress Creek is her.

"Somebody took my sunshine away and nothing can ever bring her back, but I love her very, very much," said her mother, Sonia Newsom.

Sowders' parents say she was in the process of ending a tumultuous nine-year marriage. A new man came into her life and she was happy.

"I haven't seen her happy in a long time and she was real happy when she was with Jason," said her father, Jimmy Newsom.

Jason is Jason Sanford, Sowders' current boyfriend and father of her unborn child. He says Thursday's discovery brings him no peace.

"Doesn't make it any better, doesn't make it any better at all. I don't even know what to say," Sanford said.

He says he last spoke with Sowders the day after Christmas when she was supposed to meet with her estranged husband and youngest daughter at a McDonald's. The couple was working out details of their divorce and custody of their four daughters.

Family members say no matter what detectives uncover about Sowders' death, at least Thursday's discovery ends the sleepless nights marked of wondering where she was.

"It's just been terrible not knowing where she was or if she was OK," said Amber Newsom.

"A tremendous amount of relief, now we can bury her," said cousin Michelle Bierman.

Sowders' estranged husband has never spoke publicly about the disappear

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