Sunday 15 September, 2019

Remains of missing J'can woman found in US; husband booked for murder

Andreen McDonald

Andreen McDonald

The search for a missing Jamaican businesswoman who disappeared in Texas in March has ended, after investigators in the United States revealed human remains found by a man on Thursday belong to her.

According to media reports there, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office announced that it used dental records to confirm that the remains belonged to 29-year-old Andreen McDonald.

Her husband, 40-year-old Air Force Reserve officer, Andre Sean McDonald, who is also Jamaican-born and was initially booked for tampering with evidence in the case, was charged with murder on Saturday.

His bail has since been set at US$2 million.

Sheriff Javier Salazar, who has been one of the key communicators of the facts in the case, said the remains appeared to have been covered with wood and bones from a deceased cow, then set on fire.

The remains were also "somewhat bleached" from sun exposure, since the bones had likely been in the open for the four months since McDonald was reported missing.

According to a warrant, authorities believe McDonald's young daughter, who is autistic, may have witnessed her father burning her mother's body.

Andreen McDonald, who is originally from Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica, was last seen alive on Thursday, February 28, and reported missing around 1 pm the following day.

Andreen's husband was subsequently charged on Sunday, March 3 for tampering with evidence in connection with her disappearance.

He was released from custody at Bexar County Jail on Tuesday, April 2, after posting his reduced bail of US$300,000, and was then turned over to the military.

Bail had been originally set at US$2 million, but was lowered after his attorney argued that the bail for that offence was excessive.

The sheriff’s office had theorised that foul play was involved because investigators discovered traces of blood at the McDonalds’ Timberwood Park home in San Antonio, Texas, and found that her husband had bought a shovel, an axe, gas cans, heavy duty trash bags and other items that deputies believe were going to be used to dispose of her body, according to court documents.

McDonald was then arrested after investigators said he attempted to destroy receipts of those items that he purchased.

Relatives of Andreen McDonald had indicated that she and Andre first met in Florida, but they are both from Port Antonio, Jamaica.

Public records show Andre and Andreen were married in Florida on July 9, 2009. He was previously married in Florida and divorced there.

After the pair arrived in San Antonio, Andreen attended the University of Texas in San Antonio and earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Finance.

With support from her husband, Andreen, at 22 years’ old, launched a business called Starlight Homes Assisted Living, according to the company’s website.

However, the couple’s marriage, which produced a six-year-old daughter, had been marked with arguments, at least in recent years, according to at least one employee and police records.

In addition, court documents in the US revealed that the missing Jamaican woman had warned friends that if she disappeared, it would be because her husband had killed her.

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