Heather Louise Schwab was reported missing by her mother Tammra Schwab on June 28, months after a neighbor said she last saw her
A man was arrested after his ex-girlfriend’s corpse was found inside a refrigerator in his home.
According to the probable cause affidavit initially obtained by NBC DFW and reviewed by PEOPLE, Chad Christopher Stevens, 42, was accused of tampering with evidence and fabricating evidence by disposing of the dead body of his ex-girlfriend Heather Louise Schwab.
On Sunday, investigators executed a search warrant at his house where they found a refrigerator “wrapped in copious amounts of plastic wrap” located in Stevens’ kitchen — which was “suspiciously closed and concealed” with a “piece of sheetrock" — per the affidavit. Inside the refrigerator, police found a “small saturated human body,” which was later positively identified by the Collin County medical examiner as Heather.
A spokesperson for Heather’s family released a statement to local WFAA saying that the family was “beyond grief-stricken and broken-hearted” by the news.
“We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers that our family is receiving. We are so grateful to the McKinney Police Department for their hard work and dedication in finding Heather. We would appreciate privacy for her family and children as we process through this devastating time,” they said in the statement.
Heather was reported missing by her mother Tammra Schwab on June 28, per the affidavit. Tammra told investigators that although she and her daughter had not spoken in a year, she would check in with a neighbor to hear about how she was doing, and found out that the neighbor had not heard from her daughter in months.
Tammra told investigators, per the affidavit, that her daughter had been known to be living with Stevens at the time and that their relationship was “full of abuse” and that he “would assault Heather,” though she would not leave the relationship. Tammra also told detectives that Heather stated to her that “Chad would kill her and hide her body somewhere.”
An investigator took on the case, and interviewed Stevens who claimed that Heather had left him the year prior and hadn’t seen or heard from her since then, per the affidavit. The investigation came to a standstill as the detective was unable to find out any leads about Heather’s last whereabouts or where she was last seen.
However, on Nov. 3, Tammra went to the police department to report that she had heard from Stevens’ ex-wife that he had “killed Heather and buried her in his backyard.” The information was traced to the ex-wife’s daughter who said she had spoken to her father, Stevens, the day prior on Nov. 2.
She told the investigator, per the affidavit, that Stevens had “sarcastically” stated that he had killed Heather and buried her in his backyard. On Nov. 6, the investigator obtained a search warrant to use a drone from the McKinney Police Department to obtain photographs of Stevens’ property, finding “several anomalies” in the backyard of his home.
During the investigation, another one of Stevens’ ex-girlfriends came forward regarding an assault offense in January, which led to an arrest warrant being issued for Stevens as well as a search warrant for his home, when the body was then found.
Stevens was taken in for questioning, where he admitted to “hiding Heather’s body in the refrigerator after she died” at his home on July 26, 2022. He claimed, per the affidavit, that “he didn’t know what to do” when she died so he put her in the refrigerator. He also told detectives that there had been “multiple physical altercations” between him and Heather and that he had “threatened to kill her” on “several occasions.”
Detectives also noted that they got a call around Aug. 12, 2022 at Stevens’ residence about a “woman waving a firearm” and a “male screaming” at the location, so they believe that Heather’s death may have occurred around this time.
Stevens, who has been previously booked for theft, driving while intoxicated and assault, per NBC DFW, was arrested on a charge of tampering with evidence and booked at the Collin County Detention Facility, the outlet reported. His bond is set at $150,000. It is unclear if he's retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.
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