A search for a missing California mother of three came to a grisly end on Friday after her remains were discovered and her husband was arrested, according to officials.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday on Facebook that Anthony Gumina, 44, was initially arrested on an outstanding no-bail warrant for domestic violence.
Detectives then simultaneously conducted a search warrant Friday in the Pleasant Valley area of El Dorado County, where they discovered what is believed to be the remains of 33-year-old Heather Gumina, his wife.
“Following the discovery, EDSO detectives arrested Anthony Gumina for homicide,” the sheriff’s office said.
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Gumina – who was also known as Heather Waters – is a 33-year-old mother of three from the Pleasant Valley area, located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
She had not been seen since July 15, when she was released from the hospital after being treated for a broken collarbone. She spoke to her mother after spending the night at the hospital and complained she was released too soon.
Her mother, Joanna Russel, told FOX40 on Saturday that family members always feared this would have been the end result, and were heartbroken on Saturday.
“We’re super sad about what happened and I don’t know if we’re ever going to be OK,” Russel told FOX40. “I miss my daughter.”
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Russel, who described her daughter as one of the “most giving, loyal people,” said the grim discovery weeks later was devastating.
“I’m going to grieve for a very long time,” she told FOX40. “It’s like the world’s worst nightmare.”
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The sheriff’s office released a photo of Anthony Gumina under arrest, sitting down on what appeared to be a curb. Officials said in order to protect the integrity of their homicide investigation, not further information is being released at this time.
But while officials claim to have evidence linking Gumina to his wife’s death, a family member told FOX40 he believes the 44-year-old is innocent.
“I’m 100 percent positive that he didn’t do it,” Robert Shawaluk, a cousin of the Gumina, said Saturday. “He did nothing wrong. He loved her. He loved his wife. And for them to arrest him when he cooperated the whole time. He did nothing but cooperate with the cops.”
Fox News’ Christina Coleman contributed to this report.