HOUSTON — The husband of a woman found dead inside her Cypress home went to "great lengths" to convince investigators his wife was killed by intruders, according to court documents.
Christopher Collins, 41, was scheduled to go before a judge Thursday but didn't appear for mental health reasons, authorities said. Collins is charged with murder in the death of his wife, Yuan Hua Liang.
Prosecutors said the couple had signed a $250,000 life insurance policy two days before Liang was killed at thenhome in the 18000 block of Clayton Bluff on Nov. 18.
Collins is being held on a $150,000 bond. He is expected to make his first court appearance on Monday.
Authorities said Collins is a military veteran who has owned a home in the Houston area for the past eight years.
Suspect called officers to the house
Harris County Sheriff's Office said it received a non-emergency call at about 3:15 p.m. from a man — later identified as Collins — requesting a welfare check for his wife.
Investigators said Collins told officers his wife was worried about possible intruders inside the home. He reportedly became worried when she stopped responding to his calls and text messages.
According to authorities, Collins met an officer at the house about 5 p.m. where he opened the door for them.
According to court documents, Collins paused momentarily in the doorway, dropped his bags and ran into the living room where Liang was found lying on the floor with visible blood on her shirt and a bag covering her head.
Liang had only one injury to her body, a gunshot wound to the head, according to medical examiners. They believe the bullet was fired from either a 22 or 25 caliber weapon.
An autopsy also concluded the cloth bag was placed over the victim after her death, according to court documents.
Investigators said there were no signs of a break-in, the home was not ransacked and several high-value items were untouched. They also noted that officers counted four dogs in the couple's backyard.
According to deputies, a neighbor reported hearing an argument coming from the direction of the home earlier that day.
According to investigators, Collins said he had returned home from a restaurant earlier after forgetting his wallet. He told officers Liang met him in the driveway and gave it to him. He claimed to have then left for the gym.
Collins allegedly said he was on the phone with his brother when he missed several messages from his wife, claiming someone was outside their residence. He said he texted her back to see if she was OK, but she didn't respond.
He claims he continued driving to the gym, where he stayed for about 45 minutes. At that time, Collins said he tried reaching his wife at least 10 times but she didn't answer.
That's when he called the police at the non-emergency number.
Questioning the husband
Officers asked Collins about surveillance cameras at the house and were told there was no recording, only a live feed. Collins said when he would use the cameras to check on his wife when was working out of the country.
Court records said Collins didn't check the cameras the day of his wife's death.
When asked why he didn't come home immediately, according to court documents, Collins told officers his wife tended to be paranoid. Prosecutors said the 911 call revealed Collins told dispatchers "it was probably nothing."
Prosecutors said deputies asked if there was a gun inside the home. Collins reportedly said his wife had bought him a 9mm pistol but he didn't have ammunition.
Officers said they later found a 22mm cartridge inside Collins' pocket.
Help for victims of domestic violence
Domestic and family violence cases in the Houston area have increased at an alarming rate. Victims often suffer in silence because they feel scared, helpless or ashamed.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, here are some discreet ways to reach out for help.
The Family Time Crisis Center can also be reached 24-hours a day at 281-446-2615.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741.
Or text LOVEIS to 22522.