As Caleb Crew and his wife drove to a credit union last week, the couple argued about finances, Caleb Crew told police. In the credit union parking lot, Andrea Crew told him that she might take their two daughters to live in the South American country where she was born and raised.

Caleb Crew said he told his wife that they should pray on her decision but that she left the car in anger and never came back, according to court papers.

Her body was found days later in the Occoquan River.

A search warrant filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court says that is the account the 25-year-old former Marine gave police of the hours leading up to his wife’s Aug. 7 disappearance.

He has been charged with second-degree murder in her death. According to the medical examiner’s office, Andrea Crew was strangled, and court papers say she was found with a necktie around her throat and a bag over her head.

Caleb Crew, 25, has been charged with second-degree murder of his wife. (Courtesy of Fairfax County Police Department)

Caleb crew’s family has declined to comment on the allegations, and it is not clear whether he has an attorney.

But court papers, relatives and neighbors describe a strained marriage, which police say turned deadly.

The morning that Andrea Crew, 31, disappeared, the couple had gone to court for a hearing in a domestic violence case. Caleb Crew told police that his wife had agreed to drop an assault charge against him, according to the search warrant, and that the case was dismissed.

Aura Moran, a neighbor who was a babysitter for the couple, said that about a month earlier Andrea Crew had run to her apartment to say Caleb Crew had poured motor oil on her head and she needed to call police.

Andrea Crew was born in Colombia and had no close relatives in the United States. Her mother told a Colombian radio station Monday that her daughter had complained that Caleb Crew mistreated her. “He behaved badly, was rude . . . and awful with her,” Rosa Elvira Pineda said.

Caleb Crew’s accounts of his whereabouts the day of his wife’s disappearance were inconsistent, police wrote in the search warrant. There were broken pieces of something resembling marble on the patio of the Crew’s home, and similar bits of stone were found in the backpack that weighed down Andrea Crew’s body. There were also red stains on a bureau in the couple’s bedroom and a stain on their bed linens.

Crew appeared in court Monday morning and is being held without bond.

“We hope that the justice system continues operating as if he’s innocent until proven guilty,” said Amos Crew, Caleb Crew’s brother. He asked for “prayer for all of us, for our family, for Andrea’s family, for the children.”