Washington man released pending investigation into wife’s death

  • Sonam Saxena

Big Island police Friday afternoon released a 43-year-old Washington man who had been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of his wife Tuesday night at Anahoomalu Bay.

The Hawaii Police Department said at 2:15 p.m. Friday that Sonam Saxena was released without charges pending further investigation.

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He had been in police custody since Wednesday afternoon facing a second-degree murder charge stemming from the death of his wife, Smriti Saxena, 41, whose body was found Wednesday morning, hours after Saxena reported her as missing.

An autopsy was conducted and further testing is needed to determine the exact cause of death, the department said Friday afternoon.

Prior to Sonam Saxena’s arrest, the product manager for Google Cloud spoke with West Hawaii Today, professing his love for Smriti Saxena and pleading for the public’s help locating the mother of their two children, who have come to Hawaii for years to celebrate their eldest daughter’s birthday.

He stated he last saw Smriti Saxena around 10:30 p.m. when he went back to their hotel room to retrieve her inhaler after the woman suffered an asthma attack after a 20-minute walk they took heading south along the bay after leaving the Lava Lava Beach Club.

When he returned, about 40 to 50 minutes later, he said, there was no sign of Smriti Saxena though her purse, phone, credit card and driver’s license were all there. He returned to the hotel to see if his wife was there, and, he said, after not finding there summonsed help.

Google still had not responded for comment regarding Sonam Saxena as of press-time Friday.

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Microsoft previously declined comment on Smriti Saxena, who was a business program manager for the company in Redmond, Washington.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Keith Simeona at 326-4646, ext. 281, or via email to keith.simeona@hawaiicounty.gov. He can also be reached by calling the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

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