On Wednesday, distraught Google product manager Sonam Saxena spoke to a local Hawaii newspaper, pleading for help in finding his missing wife.
The couple from Washington state, who had two young daughters, were on their annual family vacation to Hawaii when Smriti Saxena disappeared at around 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Sonam said he’d left his wife on a secluded beach south of Anaehoomalu Bay to take a 20-minute walk back to their Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort room to retrieve Smriti’s asthma inhaler. When he returned, her purse and phone were there but she was gone.
“She got an asthma attack right there on the beach and she was feeling weak, he told West Hawaii Today. “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.’”
Sonam pleaded for Big Island residents to help find Smriti. He even tweeted a message to Hawaii’s governor and shared it with his LinkedIn network. “Can you please promote this tweet so that I can tell my daughters where their mom is,” he wrote.
However, on Wednesday, Hawaii Island Police arrested Sonam on one count of murder in the second-degree after a female body believed to be Smriti’s was found near Anaehoomalu Bay in the district of South Kohala. An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death.
Smriti, a 41-year-old business program manager for Microsoft, was last seen on Tuesday night at the Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa, police said. Her husband, a 43-year-old who works in Google’s Seattle office as the head of product for Google’s Cloud Deployment Manager, said they’d taken a stroll to the beach shortly after.
He told West Hawaii Today that he was “disturbed” when he came back from fetching the asthma inhaler to find his wife missing. He said he rushed back to the hotel to check if she’d returned to the room before calling 911.
Hawaii Police put out a missing persons alert for Smriti at about 1:30 a.m. the following morning, and discovered her body six hours later. By that afternoon, they had arrested Sonam.
The pair had been married for 17 years with two daughters, aged 13 and 8. They celebrated the older daughter’s birthday in Hawaii each year, Sonam had said.
According to his LinkedIn, Sonam moved to Seattle from India in 2008 and worked for SkyKick and Microsoft before joining Google.