The husband of a 41-year-old Washington woman who went missing while on vacation on Hawaii's Big Island, has been arrested on suspicion of murder, authorities said.
Sonam Saxena, 43, of Bellevue, Washington, was arrested by Hawaii police on Feb. 19, following the discovery of a body near Aneahomalu Bay.
Saxena's wife, Smriti, 41, was last seen at the Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa on Feb. 18 at around 10:30 p.m wearing a black dress with a multi-colored floral design and black jacket, police said in a statement.
Police wouldn't confirm whether the body discovered in the bay was Smriti, but they did say the location was in the "general areas where Smriti" was reported as a missing person "and last seen late Tuesday evening."
An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death, West Hawaii Today reported.
In an interview with West Hawaii Today, Saxena said he last saw his wife on the shoreline south of Anaehoomalu Bay when he went back to their hotel room at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort to grab her inhaler, which she had left behind.
"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," Saxena told the outlet before his arrest. "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 estimated his trip back to the room to fetch his wife's inhaler didn't take him any longer than 40 to 50 minutes, because he knew she was uncomfortable without it. When he returned to the secluded beach, he found her purse, phone, credit card, and driver's license, but she had disappeared was nowhere to be found.
“I was disturbed because why would she leave her purse and her phone on the beach and head back to the room? It just seemed really odd,” he said. “So I rushed back to the room. I checked the room and I saw that she wasn’t in the room. So I went downstairs and that’s when I dialed 911.”
Hotel security assisted Saxena as they searched the beach for his wife, but there was no answer.
The couple, who have been married for 17 years, have two children ages 13 and 8, and reportedly visit Hawaii every year to celebrate the birthday of their oldest child.
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