New details have emerged in the case of a missing McKinney woman whose body was reportedly found in a refrigerator in a man’s home earlier this week.
Chad Christopher Stevens, 42, was arrested for allegedly tampering with evidence after McKinney police searched his residence in the 600 block of Pearson Avenue and discovered the body of Heather Louise Schwab, 35.
As previously reported in The Dallas Express, one of Stevens’ neighbors speculated that Scwab had dated the suspect, who they said was known for keeping to himself and behaving oddly.
The arrest affidavit later revealed that Stevens and Schwab had dated, and, according to Schwab’s mother, the relationship was violent and abusive. She filed a missing person’s report on June 28 after Stevens’ neighbors told her they had not seen her daughter in months, according to WFAA.
Investigators questioned Stevens after learning from Schwab’s mother that he had made several death threats against her daughter. Stevens claimed he had not seen Schwab in over a year, and the police had no further leads to follow.
However, Schwab’s mother contacted the McKinney Police Department again in November regarding new information gleaned from Stevens’ ex-wife and daughter, who live out of state.
The affidavit states the two women told police that Stevens had made several suspicious comments regarding Schwab’s disappearance and his backyard. He also allegedly told them that he had researched how much prison time he could get for hiding a body, saying it was “only … five years,” according to WFAA.
Additional details about what police apparently found inside Stevens’ home on November 12 were also revealed in the affidavit. Schwab’s body had been stuffed in the refrigerator, where it had fully decomposed.
No further details regarding the cause of Schwab’s death or any possible involvement of Stevens have been disclosed, as McKinney police are continuing their investigation.
Schwab’s family released a statement asking for privacy as they process the news of her death, noting that it has left them “beyond grief-stricken and broken-hearted,” according to WFAA.
The grisly revelation is thankfully a comparatively uncommon one in McKinney, which sees far fewer homicides than neighboring Dallas, logging four during the first nine months of the year compared to 194 in Dallas during the same period.
According to data from the Dallas Police Department’s crime analytics dashboard, Dallas has seen a year-over-year increase in murders and non-negligent homicides of 13.5% amid an ongoing police officer shortage. DPD operates with fewer than 3,200 officers despite a City analysis previously estimating that Dallas needed about 4,000 officers to maintain public safety.
The strain caused by this deficit can be felt most heavily in Downtown Dallas, which sees significantly higher crime rates than neighboring cities’ downtown areas, such as Fort Worth, which is patrolled by a dedicated police unit working in concert with private security guards.