She Vanished From a Beach. Now, Her Husband's Arrest

Sonam Saxena accused of 2nd-degree murder during family's annual Hawaii vacation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2020 8:09 AM CST

A Washington state family's annual Hawaii vacation has ended in apparent tragedy, with the dad now in police custody. People reports that 43-year-old Sonam Saxena, a product manager for Google Cloud, has been arrested on one count of second-degree murder after he told cops his wife disappeared after a Tuesday evening stroll along a beach near their hotel in Anaehoomalu Bay. A statement from the Hawaii Police Department said a body believed to be that of 41-year-old Smriti Saxena was found Wednesday morning in the South Kohala district of the Big Island of Hawaii, and a criminal investigation is underway. After the body was found but before he was taken in by police, Sonam Saxena told West Hawaii Today he'd left his wife on the beach around 10pm Tuesday to retrieve her inhaler for her.

"She got an asthma attack right there on the beach and ... she didn't want to walk all the way back," he told the paper, noting he made it to their room at a nearby Marriott and back in about 40 to 50 minutes. His wife wasn't there, he said, but her purse, phone, and ID were. He said he went back to the hotel, hoping she was there, then called 911 when he saw she wasn't. Saxena helped lead a search for his wife, along with their two children, ages 8 and 13, before his arrest. In a Wednesday tweet, he accused local police of not being responsive to him and tagged Hawaii Gov. David Ige. Fox News notes Saxena also put up a post on LinkedIn pleading for help. "Can you please promote this tweet so that I can tell my daughters where their Mom is #help," he wrote to his network. An autopsy has been scheduled. It's not clear what led cops to arrest Saxena. (Read more murder stories.)

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