Husband Claimed Wife Vanished on Hawaii Beach Vacation — Now He's Accused of Murder
A Washington state man who claimed his wife disappeared while the couple was vacationing in Hawaii has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
On Wednesday, Sonam Saxena, 43, of Bellevue, Washington, was arrested for one count of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Smriti Saxena, according to a Hawaii Police Department media release obtained by PEOPLE.
The night before, Smriti, 41, had been reported missing after her husband claimed she vanished while they walked on ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay near their hotel, according to West Hawaii Today.
“She got an asthma attack right there on the beach and she was feeling weak and she didn’t want to walk all the way back because it’s almost a 20-minute walk back from that beach to our room,” Sonam Saxena told the paper. “So, I said, ‘Hey, you know what? You stay here, you have your phone with you and I’ll just go to the room grab your inhaler and pump and come back.'”
Saxena, a product manager for Google Cloud, said he left his wife for 40 to 50 minutes, but when he got back to the secluded beach she was missing.
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Saxena told the paper he and his wife had been married for 17 years and have two children, ages 13 and 8. The family went to Hawaii every year to celebrate their eldest child’s birthday.
The couple’s children helped in searching for their mother Tuesday night.
But on Wednesday morning, the body of a woman believed to be Smriti was discovered near the Bay where she went missing, according to police.
Police have not disclosed evidence that led them to arrest Saxena.
An autopsy is scheduled to determine her cause of death.
Police ask anyone who may have been in the south beach area of ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay Tuesday evening to contact Detective Keith Simeona at (808) 326-4646 x281 or email Keith.Simeona@hawaiicounty.gov or call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.