HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The search for a 26-year-old pregnant woman reportedly last seen Thursday will resume Tuesday morning in northern Harris County, but her family does not expect to find her alive.
Volunteers from Texas Equusearch brought boats with sonar equipment to Cypress Creek on Monday morning to look for Melissa Sowders.
According to officials, Sowders was last seen by her boyfriend, Jason Sanford, who said that she had dropped him off for work at 6:15 a.m. Sowders was in their white Honda Accord, which deputies found Friday night on Interstate 45 near Richey Road.
Sanford said Sowders was supposed to go meet her ex-husband and their youngest daughter at the McDonald’s on FM 1960 near Kuykendahl Road.
“Pretty much from the first day that we knew she was missing, and the circumstances of how she went missing. We knew. We knew,” Michelle Bierman, Sowders’ cousin, said Monday afternoon.
What the missing woman's cousin says they knew is that something bad had happened to the missing woman, and they knew who they would suspect.
“She was terrified of him (her ex-husband). Terrified,” she said.
Family members say her estranged husband was abusive. They said he didn’t like the fact she had a new boyfriend and was carrying his baby.
However, court records show that the ex-husband is the one who filed for divorce back in October and he has custody of their young children.
Detectives confirm he has been questioned by they have not named him a suspect.
Texas Equusearch would only say they have good reason to be at the location near Interstate-45 and Cypress Creek. That their sonar has picked up in image in 12 feet of water that is worth investigating further.
“We don’t want to leave this water until we know that we’ve absolutely cleared everything. I mean, there’s a lot of debris in there,” Tim Miller, with Texas Equusearch, said. “There’s a lot of loose rocks in there. There’s a lot of stuff and there’s times we get false images but I really want to take a lot closer look at it.”
Miller said he remains optimistic that the missing mother will be found.
“I’m very optimistic she’s going to be found. I can put it like that. I’m very optimistic she’s gonna be found,” Miller said. “I would hope it’s gonna be today. If it’s not…I’m optimistic she’s gonna be found.”
But her family fears the worst – after her car was found nearby – and after a weekend of hearing nothing from the pregnant woman.
“At this point, it’s been too long. It’s been too long. The reality is she’s not gonna come back alive,” Bierman said.
If you can help find, contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at (713) 967-5810 or Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.