Prosecutors: Husband confessed to strangling ex-wife, dumping body

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by Andrew Horansky & Malini Basu / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 3, 2014 at 6:08 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 4 at 12:00 AM

HOUSTON—There are disturbing new details in the death of pregnant mother Melissa Sowders, whose body was found in Cypress Creek Thursday.

Her estranged husband, 28-year-old Matt Sowders, was arrested hours later on a capital murder charge.

In court early Friday morning, prosecutors said two women heard separate confessions from the suspect on the day after Christmas when Melissa vanished.

One said she went to his apartment and saw what she believed to be a woman’s body from the doorway.

"When she looked past [Matt] towards the hallway she observed what she believed to be the feet and lower legs of a female lying on the floor of the apartment," the prosecuting attorney said.

That witness then called Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies and next called Matt Sowders with a deputy on the line. Prosecutors said Sowders admitted on the phone to killing his wife.

The other witness said she received a visit from Sowders.

"She said that the defendant told her he had strangled Melissa to death after she pulled a gun on him. He told her he blacked out. When he came to, she was dead. He said he stuffed her into a large black trash can and transported her to Cypress Creek. And there he submerged her body," the prosecutor said.

Sowders' sister, Amber Newsom, believes Matt killed Melissa after seeing a photo of her ultrasound on her cell phone. The victim was two months pregnant with her current boyfriend’s child. Matt Sowder also became angry about photos of her in lingerie, according to Newsom.

The Sowders had four children together who stayed with the Matthew Sowders’ family.

On Friday a judge denied Sowders’ bond. His attorney tells 11 News he is shocked by the allegations. If convicted, his client could receive life in prison or even the death penalty.

"I hope he gets the death penalty or life in prison for taking away my only sister," Amber Newsom said.

An autopsy is being performed on the body found in Cypress Creek to confirm its identity, but friends and family are confident it is Melissa. Prosecutors said tattoos on the body matched hers.

The family was finalizing plans for a funeral that will be held next week.

Melissa Sowders Fund:

Amegy Bank

1000 Spring Cypress Road

Spring, Texas 77373

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