Search for missing pregnant woman resumes


by staff

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 30 at 4:10 PM

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The search for a 26-year-old pregnant woman reportedly last seen Thursday continues in northern Harris County.

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.

Texas Equusearch said they spent most of the day Sunday searching farther upstream and down Cypress Creek, but did not find any new clues.

Monday’s plans called for the search to focus in on the water under a bridge, based on sonar information from over the weekend.

“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.”

Sanford said Sowders, who is pregnant with their child, was supposed to go meet her ex-husband, Matthew Sowders, and their youngest daughter at the McDonald’s on FM 1960 near Kuykendahl Road.

The father has custody of all their children.

“She called me and said she was there and everything,” Sanford said.

No one is sure what happened after the visit at McDonald’s, but Sowders hasn’t been seen since.

Jimmy Newsom, Melissa Sowder’s father, admits he is suspicious of her ex-husband.

“She’s afraid of him because he was physically and mentally abusive,” Newsom said.

Newsom also said not staying in touch was not his daughter’s style.

“It’s not like her not to call us back or if we call her she always answers the phone or if not, she’ll call us later on,” the father said.

“If they find her, she’s not going to be here anymore,” Sanford said. “I fear the worst. I love you baby. I miss you so much. I want you to come home.”

Deputies are asking for the public’s help to find Sowders. They believe foul play might be involved in her disappearance.

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.