The murder of a pregnant woman could lead a Texas man to the death chamber, according to a Jan. 3 Yahoo News report. Matthew Sowders was arrested Jan. 2, after divers found his estranged wife’s body behind his home. The 28-year-old was charged with a capital murder today.
“You're here on a charge of capital murder, and I believe it involves the murder of two people, including an unborn child,” a court official stated at Sowders’ probable cause hearing. 26-year-old Melissa Sowders had been missing since Dec. 26. She was last seen with her ex-husband at a McDonalds eatery.
According to KEYE TV Austin, Melissa was meeting Sowders at the McDonalds to see one of the couple’s children, of whom, he has custody. She reportedly ended a phone call with her boyfriend when her ex-husband arrived.
Court records indicate that a witness showed up at Sowders’ apartment the day his pregnant ex-wife disappeared and, upon opening the door, saw what appeared to be a women’s lower torso, Yahoo News reports. Sowders shut the door before the witness could see anything else.
Sowders is being held without bond in the Harris County jail. According to his attorney Dustan Neyland, Sowders “is maintaining his innocence.” He added, “It was a shock to be charged and arrested without a cause of death determination. He is not guilty of this charge.”
At the time of her death, Melissa was pregnant with her boyfriend Jason Sanford’s child.