A California man is accused of killing his wife to keep her from testifying against him in a domestic violence case, according to prosecutors.
Anthony Gumina, of the Sacramento area, allegedly killed Heather Gumina in July. A domestic violence case had been filed against him in February in which his wife was the alleged victim — and she was set to testify in that case this month, El Dorado County Prosecutor Joe Alexander told ABC News.
Anthony Gumina is charged with a special allegation murder, according to court documents filed Tuesday. Prosecutors allege “Heather Gumina was a witness to a crime and was intentionally killed to prevent her from testifying in a criminal proceeding,” the documents said.
Heather Gumina had been reported missing on July 19 and her whereabouts were unknown for months, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.
When Anthony Gumina was arrested on Friday night on an outstanding domestic violence warrant, detectives “simultaneously conducted a search warrant” and found what are believed to be Heather Gumina’s remains, according to the sheriff’s office. Anthony Gumina was then arrested for homicide, the sheriff’s office said Saturday.
Alexander said the outstanding domestic violence warrant was due to Anthony Gumina allegedly committing a new act of domestic violence against his wife while the February case was pending.
“I expect that all the cases will be consolidated moving forward so the homicide will end up being the lead case,” Alexander said.
Anthony Gumina is set to be arraigned on Sept. 24. A defense attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
The identity of the remains discovered this weekend have not been forensically confirmed “but there’s other physical evidence that leads us to conclude those remains are in fact Heather Gumina,” Alexander said. Prosecutors have not released her manner of death.
“My daughter was one of the most giving, loyal people I’ve ever known,” Heather Gumina’s mother, Joanna Russel, told Sacramento FOX affiliate KTXL after the remains were found. “It’s like the world’s worst nightmare.”
“It’s going to be very hard to be without her, but I know that she’s in heaven now,” Russel said.