Warrant: Daughter likely witnessed Andre McDonald burning her mom's body
Andreen McDonald's remains found among cow bones, sheriff says
SAN ANTONIO – A warrant is providing more detail about the evidence the Sheriff's Office has collected since the disappearance of a local businesswoman whom they believe was murdered by her husband.
A murder warrant for the arrest of Andre McDonald, the husband of Andreen McDonald, states that he had cuts and injuries on his hands the day of his March arrest and that male clothing, collected immediately after Andreen McDonald's disappearance, was discovered to have Andreen and Andre McDonald's blood on it.
The warrant also notes that the couple's young daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, had essentially reenacted how her mother's body was disposed of.
While McDonald was first charged in March with tampering with evidence in connection with his wife's disappearance, he was rearrested Saturday on a charge of murder after investigators found his wife's remains on a property in north Bexar County. He's being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
Deputies were called out to the 600 block of Specht Road around 7:30 p.m. Thursday after bones and a skull were found about 20 yards from the road on a 50-acre private property. Sheriff Javier Salazar said during a press conference Saturday that through dental records, the remains were definitively identified by the medical examiner as Andreen McDonald.
The remains were discovered July 11 by a friend of the landowner, who was asked to remove two cow skulls that were on the 50-acre property. When the man went to the area where one cow skull was known to be, he instead found a human skull and bones mixed in with the cow bones and alerted authorities.
Couple's daughter seemingly reenacts how mother's body was disposed of
While the Sheriff's Office previously stated that the couple's young daughter may have witnessed her mother's death, the affidavit provides new information about what the couple's daughter told family friends following her mother's disappearance.
The warrant states the child made comments about "Andre hurting mommy" and on one occasion seemingly recreated the scene of where Andreen's remains were discovered on Thursday.
According to the warrant, the young girl was playing with a doll in the backyard when she placed the doll in a circle of rocks, broke some small sticks and placed them over the toy. The girl poured something on the doll and then asked people for "the fire," the warrant states.
Later in the murder warrant, officials note that the crime scene on Specht Road bore many similarities to the scene enacted by the couple's young daughter.
According to court documents, Andreen McDonald's remains appeared to have been covered with wood and bones from a dead cow before being set on fire. An investigator noted in the affidavit that plastic or synthetic material was found melted among the remains.
Andre McDonald 'observed to have cuts and injuries to his hands'
The day after friends reported Andreen McDonald as missing, an investigator with the Sheriff's Office noticed that the McDonaldses' garage door had been ripped off its tracks, court documents state. The same investigator covertly followed Andre McDonald to a gun shop, where McDonald purchased a firearm and a significant amount of ammunition, according to arrest paperwork and accounts from Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.
Salazar explained that deputies took McDonald into custody after the gun purchase out of concern for his mental health. Salazar said McDonald had left the gun shop in such a hurry, he left behind the recently purchased firearm and his ID and that deputies were unsure if he had suicidal tendencies.
During that encounter, deputies saw Andre McDonald had cuts and injuries to his hands and "had given conflicting accounts to how the injuries occurred," the warrant states.
After detaining Andre McDonald, deputies went to the couple's home on Solitude Cove to ensure it was secure and noticed a shovel in Andreen McDonald's Porsche Macan, something that wasn't there during a previous search of the home, the affidavit states. The discovery prompted authorities to obtain an additional search warrant for the home based on the observation of evidence that was "in plain sight."
Claw hammer found to have Andreen McDonald's blood on it
During the second search of the McDonaldses' home on Solitude Cove, authorities discovered that Andre McDonald had purchased two 5-gallon barrels of gasoline, a hatchet, heavy-duty trash bags, gloves and a shovel. Court documents indicated that deputies found two purchase receipts for the aforementioned items in the trash and that the receipts had been torn up.
Authorities also found a fire pit that wasn't there during previous searches. Court documents note that it appeared the fire pit had been recently used to destroy papers and other items. Additionally, as investigators searched trash cans at the home, they found "heavy coveralls" that appeared to have been worn and a claw hammer with "woody plant debris," the affidavit states.
The claw hammer was found to have Andreen's blood on the handle, head and face.
Authorities said the tools listed in the torn-up purchase receipts were found in Andreen McDonald's Porsche Macan. The affidavit described the shovel as having "fresh dirt" on it, as if it had been used recently.
Authorities arrested Andre McDonald after executing the March 2 warrant for "altering, concealing and destroying" evidence as authorities conducted an investigation into his wife's disappearance, the affidavit states.
Men's clothing found to have Andre, Andreen McDonald's blood on it
According to the murder warrant, investigators obtained a third search warrant for the home and found a man's sweater and man's blue jeans in the laundry room. The clothing was determined to have Andreen and Andre McDonald's blood on it, the warrant states.
Surveillance video, cell phone data helps pinpoint Andreen's final moments
The warrant states that surveillance video from Feb. 28 at a Pizza Hut in the 4200 block of Thousand Oaks Drive shows Andreen McDonald and her daughter leaving the area at around 6:20 p.m.
Court documents go on to state that neither Andreen nor Andre McDonald's phones were used after 9 p.m. on Feb. 28 and that their phones did not move from their home on Solitude Cove. In fact, Andreen McDonald's phone stopped appearing on the cellular network at 9 p.m. and has not been found since her disappearance.
Friends say Andreen McDonald warned them about husband
Friends of Andreen McDonald told investigators that the mother and businesswoman warned them if she ever disappeared or was found dead, "it was because Andre McDonald killed her," the warrant states.
The warrant also states that Andre McDonald "has not once asked about the search for his missing wife or attempted to assist in locating her."
Multiple search warrants yield evidence of Andre McDonald's 'actions to conceal and/or destroy evidence'
Search warrants previously obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show that investigators found burn pits and other blood evidence in the couple's home on Solitude Cove. The warrants, obtained immediately after Andreen McDonald's disappearance, revealed that the floor of the home appeared to have been recently cleaned and that there was a red stain on a light switch. The red stain, court records note, was later determined to be human blood and hair. The floors were also found to have human blood.
The warrants state that investigators located what they believed to be more blood evidence in the couple's silver Chevrolet Malibu.
Arrest documents state that investigators also noticed a burn pile in the backyard, where it appeared that something had been recently burned. Upon closer inspection, a friend of McDonald's noted that they had discovered a zipper in the burn pit.
In a second search, officials noted that there was a new fire pit that wasn't there during previous searches. Court documents note that it appeared the fire pit had been recently used to destroy papers and other items.
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