Transcript for The search for missing Texas realtor, last seen before Hurricane Harvey
Her family wants her back. Her children. She's got a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old, and they need her. Reporter: Authorities in Texas are searching for 37-year-old crystal Mcdowell, a mother of two who disappeared nearly two weeks ago as hurricane Harvey was bearing down on the coast of Texas. In the very beginning we weren't sure whether she was missing because she wanted to be missing or missing because there's potential foul play. Reporter: She was last seen on this surveillance video leaving the home of her boyfriend Paul Hargrave on Friday August 25th. That morning we woke up around 6:30 and we both got ready. I jumped in the shower, and she got dressed, and I remember her coming in and saying all right, I'm taking off. Reporter: According to Hargrave, Mcdowell left his house, got in her car, and headed to pick up her two children, ages 5 and 8, from her ex-husband Steven Mcdowell, who lives 12 minutes away. She did send me some text messages a little later, shortly after that. She had mentioned that she was going to stay at the house, at the ex-husband's house, with the kids or depending on how traffic and weather conditions were she was going to take them out. Reporter: Crystal's uncle Jeff Walters also heard from her that morning. I received a message Friday from her stating that -- about a billboard her boyfriend had put up for her. Reporter: Hargrave had put up a billboard advertisement showcasing Mcdowell as a real estate broker. Seen here in a text exchange given to us by Hargrave, crystal sends him an image of the billboard and says, "And you are so sweet." To which he replies, "I love you and I'll always support you." With the storm approaching, Hargrave says he grew concerned when he realized he had not heard from crystal after a few hours. That's not like crystal not to reply back very quickly. So I thought that was kind of weird. But maybe she was with family getting things ready. Reporter: No one would hear from her again. The next day, Saturday, hurricane Harvey inundated Houston. And three days later, on Tuesday, crystal's black Mercedes-Benz was found in the flooded parking lot of a motel 6, seven miles from her home. Crystal was nowhere to be found and immediately there were suspicions. We don't believe she parked it there. We believe that whoever parked it there had hoped that somebody would take it. They left the car unlocked and they left the keys laying on the console. You know, foul play was definitely involved in this. She wouldn't just get up and leave her kids. She wouldn't do that. So I think something's horribly wrong. Reporter: Now her family is searching for answers, even hiring a private investigator. I know someone has seen something. And they need to call in. We're chasing a lot of leads. But no, hurricane Harvey is not the reason that crystal Mcdowell is missing. In missing persons is two things. One is the immediate circle around them. An ex-husband, former employee. Then you have to come up with a timeline. She apparently was at her boyfriend's house. And then what can you timeline from the time she left his residence? Where did she stop? Do they have video footage of her at a 7-eleven? Or a drugstore or some other location. You then take that and you overlay it with her cell phone records. Because typically real estate agents are on the phone all the time. And so where was she? Where did her phone ping? What towers can you put her near? Reporter: According to her uncle, crystal had recently started working with him as a real estate agent. She helped someone get in their first home, and she said, this is what I want to do. Reporter: And according to him everything was falling into place. She had said herself she was the happiest she had ever been in her life. Reporter: After losing her parents at a young age, her uncle says family was most important to crystal. She was very much family-oriented. She loved her children. There's no apparent reason why she should have disappeared. And when you look in someone's background, you know, did they -- have they been depressed? Have they talked about harming themselves? Have they talked about leaving? I haven't heard one thing that would suggest any of the above. Reporter: She shared custody of her children with her ex-husband, Steven. ??? Happy birthday to you ??? after finalizing their divorce in June of this year. She never spoke of them fighting. You know, they had their disagreements, of course. Reporter: But according to Hargrave, her boyfriend of a few weeks, crystal and her ex-husband had been arguing frequently. I can tell you that this past -- or the week that she went missing there were a lot of arguments, a lot of heated arguments about various situations going on. Reporter: Our request for comment from Steven Mcdowell was unanswered. With crystal missing for 12 days her family is desperate for anyone with information to come forward. We need to solve it. We need to find out who's done this. And they need to be punished. And the family's asking anybody with information to contact the chambers county sheriff's department.
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