The remains of a Texas woman who was reported missing in June were said to have been stored in her boyfriend’s refrigerator for more than a year.
As Law&Crime previously reported, McKinney police arrested 42-year-old Chad Stevens for allegedly tampering with the remains of his girlfriend Heather Schwab, 35.
According to a probable cause affidavit receive Schwab was initially reported missing by Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS in June by her mother, Tammra Schwab. According to the affidavit, the relationship between Heather Schwab and her mother was strained and they had not spoken to each other in over a year. Tammra Schwab also told police that her daughter lived with Stevens and their relationship was “filled with abuse, with Chad attacking Heather, but Heather not leaving Chad.”
“Tammra has stated numerous times in the past that Heather told her that Chad was going to kill her and hide her body somewhere,” the affidavit states.
Tammra Schwab told police that one of her daughter’s neighbors would occasionally inform her when she saw her, and that neighbor “eventually told Tammra that she had not seen Heather in several months.”
As part of the subsequent investigation, McKinney police Detective Monte Robertson said in the affidavit that he interviewed Stevens, who told him that “Heather had left him about a year earlier and that he had not seen or heard from her since then.” Stevens told the detective he didn’t know where Heather Schwab was, but he would tell him if he heard anything.
According to the affidavit, the case stalled until Nov. 3, when Tammra Schwab told Robertson that Stevens’ ex-wife said Stevens had confessed to killing Heather Schwab and burying her in the backyard. This information was relayed by Stevens’ daughter, Briana Stevens, who said she spoke with Stevens the night before, on November 2nd.
“Briana advised that she does not speak to Chad (her father) very often, but had called him on November 2, 2023 to inform him that she was pregnant,” the affidavit states. “Briana shared that Chad was very upset and threatened to kill the baby if he didn’t have an abortion and even threatened to kill him. During the argument, Briana explained to Chad that he couldn’t and shouldn’t make threatening statements because people would believe him and take him seriously. Briana stated that Chad responded that he was serious.”
Briana Stevens then told her father to watch what he said because she knew Heather Schwab was missing.
“Oh, so you think I killed her?” Chad Stevens responded, according to the affidavit. He then asked his daughter how she knew about his backyard and that it had been dug up, although Briana Stevens said she knew nothing about it.
“Chad then made statements that even if he had done something to Heather, he would only get five years in prison for hiding the body, and he knew that because he had researched it,” the affidavit states.
Chad Stevens has reportedly become even more involved with his daughter.
“Chad then continued to ask Briana how she knew Heather was in the backyard,” the affidavit states. “Briana stated that she didn’t know anything about it, but then Chad ‘sarcastically’ said, ‘Oh yeah, I definitely did.’ When asked, Briana stated that Chad had mentioned multiple times that Heather was buried in his backyard [redacted]. Briana stated that Chad continued to ask her how she knew Heather was supposedly in the backyard and how she knew the backyard had been dug up.”
Police were able to obtain a search warrant for Chad Stevens’ home after speaking with an ex-girlfriend, Katelyn Monk, who spoke to law enforcement about allegedly being assaulted by Chad Stevens in January 2023.
When police entered the home, they discovered that great effort appeared to have been made to hide Heather Schwabs’ remains.
“During the execution of the search warrant, there was a refrigerator in the kitchen of the residence that was heavily wrapped in plastic wrap,” the affidavit states. “The only entrance to the kitchen was suspiciously locked and hidden from the rest of the apartment with a piece of rock. There was a small human body in the refrigerator.”
Tests confirmed the body was Heather Schwab.
After being read his Miranda rights, Chad Stevens “admitted to hiding Heather’s body after she died in his apartment,” the affidavit states.
“Chad stated that when Heather died, he didn’t know what to do, so he put her body in the refrigerator, and that happened on July 26, 2022,” the document also states, although police noted that the death possibly happened August 2022.
Stevens told police that there were “several physical altercations” between him and his girlfriend and that he “threatened to kill Heather on multiple occasions.”
“Chad stated that during sex he would suffocate Heather to the point where her veins would protrude from her neck,” the affidavit states. “Chad also stated that he believes Heather suffered a head injury in the shower three days before her death. Chad stated that during this time he had an argument with Heather and claimed that Heather slipped in the shower.”
The affidavit states: “There was [signs] that Chad wasn’t entirely forthcoming.”
Stevens remains in custody at the Collin County Jail. He has not been charged in connection with Heather Schwab’s death.
A spokesperson for the Schwab family issued a statement to the Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA.
“Her family is beyond sad and heartbroken,” the statement said. “We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers our family receives. We are very grateful to the McKinney Police Department for their hard work and dedication in finding Heather. We would appreciate the privacy of her family and children as we process this devastating time.”
Read the affidavit from Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS below.
Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]