Man strangles 18-year-old to death, dismembers her in apartment bathtub, Texas cops say

A 29-year-old man is going to prison after being convicted of killing a woman and dismembering her body, Texas officials said.

Henry David Cossette picked up 18-year-old Sara Ann Goodwin and took her to his Alief-area apartment in Houston on Feb. 6, 2022, according to an April 29 news release by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Once at his apartment, Cossette is accused of getting on top of Goodwin and strangling her to death, prosecutors said.

He then left for the grocery store and bought trash bags, officials said.

When he returned home, he dismembered Goodwin in the apartment’s bathtub and scattered her body among different trash bags before dumping them in a rural area off the highway, officials said.

Earlier that night, Goodwin had told her friend she was getting picked up, so they monitored her phone’s location, officials said.

After Goodwin hadn’t replied for some time and her phone’s battery had died, the friend filed a missing persons report, prosecutors said.

“A big part of this crime is that he looks and behaves like a normal person that you might see every day,” Dana Nazarova, a chief in the district attorney’s homicide division, said. “But you never know what someone can actually do behind closed doors.”

Two weeks later, Cossette tried to light his apartment on fire, and neighbors called 911, officials said.

Once firefighters arrived and put out the flames, Cossette told them he had murdered a woman and revealed where the trash bags had been dumped, officials said.

Cossette was sentenced to 45 years in prison, prosecutors said.

“This young lady had her whole life ahead of her and did not deserve to lose her life,” Nazarova said. “She didn’t have a chance to fight back, and it was this defendant’s intentional acts that killed her — he was on top of her, choking her as she took her last breath.”

Alief is about a 20-mile drive southwest of Houston.

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