CONCORD, MASS. (WHDH) - A Lexington man has been ordered held without bail on a murder charge after authorities say he strangled his estranged wife to death last week and staged her body in their vehicle in the hopes of covering up the crime.
Hongyan Sun, 50, was arraigned Thursday in Concord District Court in connection with the death of his wife, Shen Cai, 49, whose body was found in a white Honda CRV on Worthen Road, according to a joint statement issued by Lexington Police Chief Mark Corr and Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan.
Cai, who was reportedly in the process of divorcing Sun, was found dead just after midnight on May 30.
An autopsy determined that her death was a homicide caused by mechanical asphyxiation.
Authorities allege that Cai told her friends and her attorney that she feared for her safety and warned them about Sun’s history of verbal abuse and controlling behavior — as well as one prior instance of physical violence — and told friends that if she was ever found dead it would be a homicide and not a suicide.
The investigation also uncovered evidence of a physical altercation between Cai and Sun two days before she was found dead that left injuries on both of them consistent with a violent struggle. Sun was reportedly missing the tip of one of his fingers, which appeared to have been bitten off by Cai.
Prosecutors allege that Sun staged Cai’s body in their vehicle in an apparent attempt to mislead investigators.
Cai’s death is being investigated by Ryan’s Office, the Lexington Police Department, and the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
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