Andre McDonald was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife, businesswoman Andreen McDonald Saturday, after her remains were found on a Texas ranch and identified.
Andre McDonald, a 40-year-old Air Force Reserve officer, was arrested peaceably at his home in San Antonio.
“He was actually very quiet with us and was fully cooperative,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said during a press conference Saturday.
He said it is likely Andreen’s daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, witnessed at least some parts of the murder.
Court documents indicate Andre McDonald was charged with first-degree murder. He is being held on a $2 million bond. McDonald was arrested at about 1:30 p.m. in San Antonio.
“I’m happy to be able to bring some closure to Andreen’s family for certain,” Salazar said.
The remains of Andreen McDonald were found on a ranch on Specht Road east of Camp Bullis on the far North Side. She was reported missing March 1. The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office used dental records to identify the skeletal remains.
“The search for Andreen is officially over,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said during the press conference. “We found her a few minutes ago. We took Andre McDonald into custody for the offense of murder.”
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Andre McDonald Charged With Murder in Wife’s Death
Officials had been searching the area near the ranch where the remains were ultimately found on a 50-acre private property in the 600 block of Specht Road. Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the property at 7:30 p.m. Thursday after a person found a skull and other bones about 20 yards from the road. The property owner had asked his friend to search for cow bones.
“A gentleman that was out walking that area looking for cow bones stumbled upon the remains of Andreen McDonald,” Salazar said. “Of course, we didn’t know that it was her at first.”
She had been missing for more than three months when the remains were discovered.
“After 134 days of searching, the body of Andreen McDonald, 29, has been found. Andreen’s husband, Andre McDonald, 40, has been arrested for murder by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Twitter.
Police Said Andre McDonald Bought A Gas Can & Burn Barrel
Andre McDonald had already been arrested once in the disappearance of his wife. He was accused of tampering with evidence March 2, the day after his wife was reported missing. He was released on $300,000 bond April 3 after his bail was reduced, according to KSAT 12. On the new charges brought against him Saturday, his bail is set at $2 million.
Investigators said Andre McDonald purchased cans of gasoline, heavy duty trash bags, work gloves, a portable burn barrel, a shovel and an ax around the time Andreen McDonald went missing. He then tried to destroy the receipt, leading to the tampering with evidence charges.
“He went to great lengths to destroy that receipt. We were able to recover it but that’s what led to the tampering with evidence charge,” Salazar said. “So, I think a lot of his behavior up to this point, along with some of the evidence that I won’t go too much into detail on, are what led to to this charge.”
During search warrants conducted at the McDonald’s home in Solitude Cove, investigators told news outlets the floor appeared to be recently cleaned. A red stain containing blood and human hair was found on a light switch, KSAT 12 reported.
Police also found a men’s sweater and men’s blue jeans with blood on them that matched both Andre McDonald and Andreen McDonald, My San Antonio reported. He admitted to fighting with his wife on Feb. 28, police wrote in court documents.
Daughter With Autism Likely Witnessed Murder, Said Officials
Andreen McDonald daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, likely witnessed parts of the murder, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said during a press conference.
“At this point, I don’t know how much the little girl knows,” he said.
He added the girl is mostly non-verbal. Investigators are being careful not to tell her things so her testimony is not tainted, he said.
“I’m still of the belief that the little girl witnessed at least some things with the death of her mom,” he said.
She seemed to recreate the seen of her mom’s body being burned, according to court documents abbreviated by KSAT 12. She made comments about “Andre hurting Mommy.” She also took a doll, put it in a circle over rocks, covered it with sticks and asked for fire.