Melissa Sowders' husband Matthew Sowders charged with murder of missing Texas mom

January 2, 2014 (HOUSTON)

A Texas EquuSearch team located a body in Cypress Creek near the residence of Melissa R. Sowders, 26, who was reported missing last week amid indications that she had been a victim of foul play. The body was found underwater at about 9:30am Thursday by a volunteer searching the area.

The body has not yet been officially identified, but family members tell Eyewitness News they're confident it's Melissa, since detectives asked them about a tattoo.

Thursday afternoon, Matthew Sowders, 28, was arrested and charged with capital murder.

Sowders is the pregnant mother of four, who mysteriously disappeared on December 26 after meeting her estranged husband at a nearby McDonald's on FM 1960, where she was supposed to pick up their children.

EquuSearch said they nearly gave up efforts to recover her Thursday morning, after an intense six day search in and around Cypress Creek. But that crew says something told them to come back out to an area of the creek, about half a mile east of I-45, where they picked up sonar images.

Sowder's family says they're confident the victim will be identified as the missing mom, and they're relieved investigators didn't give up.

Melissa's cousin Michelle Bierman said,"EquuSearch did a tremendous job. They're a Godsend. We couldn't have done this without them. They are forever in our hearts and will be a part of our family."

Detectives say Matthew Sowders is not being cooperative in their investigation, but his attorney denies he has any involvement in her disappearance. On Monday, they seized Sowders' truck. Then late Thursday afternoon, Sowders was taken into custody.

Matthew Sowders' attorney says the man is grieving and comforting the couple's four children through this tragedy.

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