Lexington Man Charged With Murder in Wife's Death

Authorities say the husband of a woman found dead in her car last week has been charged with her murder.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced Wednesday afternoon that 50-year-old Hongyan Sun, of Lexington, was arrested in connection with the murder of his wife, Shen Cai, 49.

Cai's body was located around 12:30 a.m. on May 30 in the driver's seat of her white Honda CRV parked on the side of Worthen Road, close to Lexington High School and its athletic fields and not far from where she lived.

Police were called to the area after receiving a 911 call from several of Cai's friends who had been searching for her and located her unresponsive inside her vehicle.

Cai was pronounced dead at the scene, and Ryan said investigators initially observed some suspicious trauma. An autopsy was conducted, and the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide by mechanical asphyxiation.

She had last been seen by friends with her husband on Tuesday evening. The following day, her friends became concerned after she missed two scheduled appointments.

Investigators said they subsequently learned that Cai and her husband were going through a divorce and that she had told her friends and her attorney about a history of verbal abuse and controlling behavior, as well as one prior instance of physical violence. She also told her friends she had concerns about her safety.

Police also learned of an alleged physical altercation between Cai and Sun on May 28 and observed injuries on both the victim and the suspect consistent with a violent struggle.

The district attorney said their investigation suggests that after the struggle in their home, Cai's body was staged and left in their vehicle on Worthen Road in an attempt to mislead law enforcement.

NBC10 Boston spoke with Sun as he returned home from the hospital Friday.

"She's a great lady," Sun said at the time. "I'm not going to comment anything at all, she's a great lady and she's my wife."

When he arrived, Sun was driving what is believed to have been the same vehicle his wife was found in. Reporters observed that the vehicle appeared to have been dusted for fingerprints, and there was at least one evidence marker on the side of the vehicle.

Asked about scratches on his arm, Sun replied, "It has nothing to do with you, OK?"

Sun said he did not know what happened to his wife.

"I don't know," he said. "Don't ask me."

"I can't tell anything," Sun continued. "I don't want to do any more damage to anybody, OK?"

Ryan said Cai had a daughter, and Sun has a son.

Residents were shocked to hear of the incident last week.

"You don’t think it’ll happen in your neighborhood," next-door neighbor Vidhi Thumma said. "And to your neighbor."

"There were lots of periods where the house was dark and nobody was around," neighbor Ken Kaiten added. "We really never knew where they were."

Sun is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Concord District Court. The district attorney's office said no further information will be released until then.

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