Texas man charged with hiding girlfriend’s dead body in fridge for more than a year

A 41-year-old North Texas man hid the body of his girlfriend in the refrigerator in his McKinney home for more than a year, according to an arrest warrant.

Chad Christopher Stevens is facing charges of assault causing bodily injury to a family member and tampering with evidence to impair a human corpse, according to the warrant. Police searched his home in the 600 block of Pearson Avenue and found 35-year-old Heather Louise Schwab’s body in the refrigerator.

According to the warrant, Schwab’s mother reported her missing on June 28. Police say in the document that Schwab and her mother had not spoken in more than a year, but that in the past she told her mother she worried Stevens would one day kill her and hide her body.

One of Schwab’s neighbors would periodically contact Schwab’s mother and let her know her daughter was OK, according to the warrant. The missing persons report was filed after that neighbor told Schwab’s mother she hadn’t seen her for months.

A warrant to search Stevens’ home was granted after McKinney police spoke to his ex-wife, who said that on Nov. 2 Stevens had “sarcastically” told his daughter that he’d killed Schwab and buried her in the back yard of his home, according to the warrant. He made the statement after she told him to be careful what he said because she knew his girlfriend had gone missing.

According to the warrant, Stevens asked if she thought he killed Schwab, to which she suggested Schwab might be buried in his back yard. At one point, according to the affidavit, Stevens told his daughter that even if he had hid the body he would likely only get five years in prison, and that he knew that because he’d researched it.

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While searching the home, the warrant said, police found the kitchen entrance closed off by a piece of sheet rock. When they got inside and opened the refrigerator, they found a body later identified by the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office as that of Schwab.

During another interview, investigators were told by Stevens’ ex-girlfriend that he had assaulted her when she tried to leave him, according to the warrant. Stevens later told detectives that Schwab died in his home on July 26, 2022, and he hid her body in the refrigerator because he didn’t know what to do. According to the warrant, police believe Schwab died on Aug. 12, 2022, around the same time they received a call about a woman waving a gun and a man screaming at Stevens’ home.

After he was arrested, Stevens told investigators that he had on multiple occasions been in physical fights with Schwab and threatened to kill her, according to the arrest warrant. He told police he believed Schwab had sustained a head injury when she slipped in the shower a few days before her death. Police said in the warrant there were signs Stevens was “not completely forthcoming.”

A spokesperson for the Schwab family said in a statement to WFAA-TV: “Her family is beyond grief-stricken and broken-hearted. 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.”