When millionaire businesswoman and mother, 29, vanished from her San Antonio, Texas, home in the winter of 2019, hundreds of people came out to search for her.
On March 1, 2019, the day his wife was reported missing, Andreen's husband,, told investigators that he had last seen her the night before. He admitted that they had had an argument about their successful assisted living business and that he had left the house to cool off for a few hours at a nearby gas station. When he came home, he said he believed his wife was sleeping in their daughter's bedroom.
"48 Hours" correspondent Peter Van Sant investigates what happened that night in "Andreen McDonald: A Millionaire Vanishes," now streaming on Paramount+.
For months, hundreds searched all over for Andreen McDonald to no avail. Until one day in July 2019 — 133 days after her disappearance — when Andreen's remains were found in a field just six miles away from her home.
Andre McDonald was arrested for his wife's murder and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He remained silent, never revealing what happened the night his wife died.
That all changed on Jan. 30, 2023 — almost four years after Andreen McDonald's death — on the sixth day of his murder trial.
For four-and-a-half hours, Andre McDonald detailed how the evening of Feb. 28, 2019, began as an argument and ended in his wife's death. According to Andre McDonald, he and Andreen had an appointment at a tax preparer's office. While there, Andre McDonald says he saw documents that showed that Andreen – his wife and business partner – had started a new company a year earlier without his knowledge.
"Basically, that meant to me, pretty much, that she was robbing me," Andre McDonald testified.
He said a heated argument ensued.
On the stand, Andre McDonald repeated the story he had told investigators: that he left their home to cool off at a gas station. But instead of returning home to a quiet house, Andre McDonald testified that his wife was waiting up for him, and their argument continued and escalated. He says he raised the possibility of divorce and splitting their business in half. According to him, this angered Andreen.
"She became extremely irate at the thought of … splitting the business … and charges into the room to confront me," he testified.
Andre McDonald detailed how the verbal sparring turned physical and later, he claims, Andreen attacked him.
His testimony may be disturbing to some.
"She's, like, throwing, like, some punches. So, I'm trying to, like, duck down and, like, keep my head, my face from, you know, getting hit with the blows. … I remember, like, grabbing her, like, tripping her. … And then she, like, falls and that's when I kicked her, like, twice. … The second kick, I think I heard, like, some type of wheezing, you know, coming out of her. And then also, like, in the background, I could hear, like, some footsteps."
The footsteps were of their young daughter, Alayna. Andre McDonald testified that he left his wife – hurt, but alive – on the floor while he put Alayna back to bed. He says that when he returned 30 minutes later, Andreen was dead.
Towards the end of his testimony, Andre McDonald told his defense attorney that he had acted in self-defense. The defense showed videos of Andreen powerlifting weights and playfully carrying her husband on her back. According to Andre McDonald, his wife could lift 300 pounds — almost twice his weight.
"When she attacked you, were you in fear?" asked Andre McDonald's defense attorney.
"Yes, I was in fear of, you know, being harmed during that whole situation," Andre McDonald testified.
But what would the jury believe?
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