A California man accused of murdering his missing wife, who was found dead by authorities over the weekend, may have done so in a bid to silence her.
Anthony Gumina became teary-eyed during his initial appearance before a judge in Sacramento on Tuesday, nearly two months after Heather Gumina Waters was first reported missing.
The 44-year-old suspect was arrested Friday on an outstanding no-bail warrant for domestic violence, but the charges were upgraded to homicide after investigators uncovered the body of his missing wife the same afternoon. Her death remains under investigation, but a criminal complaint obtained by Fox 40 suggests a potential motive in the slaying.
“Heather Gumina was a witness to a crime and was intentionally killed to prevent her from testifying in criminal proceeding,” according to the complaint.
The court documents did not specify what case Gumina hoped to prevent his wife from discussing, though he does have a notable history of domestic violence. Gumina in January was charged with headbutting Gumina Waters while she held her 4-year-old son in addition to forcibly taking phones from his wife to stop her from calling 911.
The 33-year-old mother of three was reported missing after she vanished form her home in El Dorado, on July 15 – the same day she was released from the hospital following treatment for a broken collarbone.
Gumina was also charged with injuring his wife a day before she disappeared, according to Fox 40.
Police on Friday announced they’d arrested the missing mother’s husband and that they’d uncovered her body executing a search in the Pleasant Valley area east of Sacramento.
Gumina is currently being held at El Dorado County Jail on no bail.