Millionaire business ownerwas known for her strict workout regimen. On the morning of March 1, 2019, when she didn't show up for work, her employees called the gym, which was her usual first stop in her morning routine. They found out she never showed up there either, which raised red flags. What happened to the San Antonio businesswoman, wife and mother?
Married couple Andreen and Andre McDonald were the picture of success.was a major in the Air Force, and together, he and Andreen McDonald built an assisted living business from the ground up and became millionaires.
Feb. 16, 2019: Andre's 40th birthday party
For Andre McDonald's 40th birthday, Andreen McDonald threw him a party at their San Antonio home. According to friends, the couple seemed to be getting along.
Feb. 28, 2019
According to Andre McDonald, during a meeting at a tax preparer's office, he discovered Andreen McDonald had opened a separate business without his knowledge. He later told police, when they got home a heated argument ensued. Andre McDonald said he left the house and went to a gas station to cool down. While there, the argument continued via text.
Revealing text messages
The couple argued about the business as well as alleged infidelity in the marriage, and even discussed the possibility of divorce. In one message, Andre McDonald texts, "Andreen I don't care if you file for divorce."
Andre McDonald said when he returned home, he thought his wife was sleeping in a separate bedroom.
March 1, 2019
When Andreen McDonald didn't show up to work the next morning, her friends and colleagues became concerned. They picked up Andreen McDonald's mother, Maureen Smith, from work and drove to the house. Smith called police and reported Andreen missing.
When a Bexar County sheriff's deputy responded to the McDonald home, the group walked him through the house. The deputy noticed something disturbing: there was blood and hair on a light switch in the bathroom.
The burn pile
In the backyard, they discovered a burn pile. In it, a zipper was visible. The deputy also found that Andreen McDonald's purse, ID and keys were still at the house, but her phone was missing.
When Andre McDonald returned to his home to find law enforcement there, he claimed he did not know where his wife was but revealed they had an argument the night before. After an investigator arrived on the scene, Andre McDonald refused to speak further and requested an attorney.
March 2, 2019
The next morning, surveillance video captured Andre McDonald in a Lowe's purchasing a cart full of items including a shovel and an ax.
March 2, 2019 - 2:00 p.m.
Later that day, an undercover investigator assigned to watch the McDonald house noticed that the garage had been damaged and saw Andre McDonald backing out of the driveway. The investigator followed him to a nearby gun shop where additional investigators, who were called to the scene, observed Andre McDonald purchasing a 9mm handgun and ammunition.
"We were under the assumption that he was purchasing a gun to probably harm himself," lead investigator Frank Stubbs told "48 Hours."
Andre McDonald was detained as he walked from the store to his car. The investigators turned him over to military authorities for a mental evaluation.
Meanwhile, investigators returned to the McDonald's house with a search warrant. They found thefrom Lowe's that morning which included that shovel and ax, as well as a hatchet, heavy-duty large trash bags, gloves and two 5-gallon gas cans. In a nearby trash can, they found a torn receipt for the items.
The shopping list
Investigators would later obtain a handwritten shopping list Andre McDonald had on him when he was arrested. The list includes many of the items McDonald purchased from Lowe's. Stubbs told "48 Hours" it appeared Andre McDonald entered Lowe's with a sinister plan.
"It doesn't appear that he's going to do yard work … at least not with his wife missing," Stubbs told correspondent Peter Van Sant. "It appears to us that he's going to use these things to dismember her body …"
March 3, 2019
The following day, the Air Force concluded its evaluation of Andre McDonald and released him. Civil authorities quickly moved in and placed him under arrest, but not for murder. He wasbecause of that torn up Lowe's receipt investigators found in the trash. In April 2019, Andre McDonald posted bond and was released.
July 11, 2019: Andreen McDonald's remains are found
After months of searches for Andreen McDonald, her remains were found in July 2019. Her skeletal remains were located in a field six miles from the McDonald home. Andre McDonald was arrested and charged with Andreen McDonald's murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
January – February 2023: Andre McDonald on trial
It would be nearly four years before Andre McDonald had his day in court. On the sixth day of trial, he took the stand. Andre McDonald revealed in great detail what he says happened in the days surrounding Andreen McDonald's death.
Andre McDonald's side of the story
Andre McDonald testified that on the night of Feb. 28, after he returned home from the gas station, he and AndreenMcDonald did not go to separate bedrooms as he had previously told authorities. Instead, he said, the fight with his wife turned physical.
According to Andre McDonald, Andreen McDonald began throwing punches. He says he grabbed her, tripped her and kicked her twice when she fell to the bathroom floor. Andre McDonald says his wife was wheezing, but he left her side to put their young daughter, Alayna, back to bed. He says he came back a half an hour later and Andreen McDonald was dead.
According to Andre McDonald, he then dumped Andreen McDonald's body in a field, stripped her naked and returned home and burned her clothing.
Returning to the scene
Andre McDonald also testified at trial that the following night, after investigators had left the house, he returned to the field where he had dumped Andreen McDonald's body.
"My plan was to hit the person that … caused this whole circumstance …" McDonald testified. He says he lit Andreen's body on fire and repeatedly hit her body with a hammer.
Andre also testified at trial that the following night, after investigators had left the house, he returned to the field where he had dumped Andreen's body.
The Lowe's haul
When Andre McDonald was questioned about those items he bought at Lowe's, he testified that he bought the items with the intent to dispose of Andreen McDonald's remains.
"I got up that morning with the intention of chopping the body up and set it on fire and burying the bones," Andre McDonald told the prosecution. However, he did not end up following through with this plan. Just hours after the trip to Lowe's, McDonald was arrested.
Andre McDonald's self-defense claim
At trial, Andre McDonald claimed that on the night of Andreen McDonald's death, he had acted in self-defense. His defense team showed videos of Andreen McDonald powerlifting and carrying Andre McDonald on her back to demonstrate that she was stronger than him.
The jurors deliberated for almost 12 hours. Two of the jurors told "48 Hours" no one believed Andre McDonald was innocent or that he acted in self-defense.
Feb. 3, 2023: A guilty verdict
The jury found Andre McDonald not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
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