Police Line
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON

A Google engineer has been accused of beating his wife to death at their home in Santa Clara County, California, US, on January 16.

The accused, identified as 27-year-old Liren Chen, has now been charged with the murder of his wife, Xuanyi. The incident came to light after local police responded to a 911 call from an acquaintance of Liren.

The person found Liren "motionless on his knees" with his "hands in the air" and "staring blankly". He decided to call the police when Liren refused to answer his phone or door.

The police immediately rushed to the scene and found the man "spattered in blood" while his wife's body was found in their bedroom.

He also had injuries to his right hand, which was extremely swollen and purple. "He had blood on his clothing, legs, arms, and hands and scratches on his arm," according to a statement by the district attorney's office in Santa Clara County.

He was immediately taken into custody and was later charged with murder. However, his arraignment has been postponed as he had to be hospitalised.

Google has also confirmed that the couple worked at the company at the time of the incident.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by what has happened to Xuanyi," Google spokesperson Bailey Tomson said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with her family at this time, and we are working to provide support to them and to co-workers who are processing this tragic news".

Both Liren and Xuanyi attended Tsinghua University in Beijing and completed their master's degrees in computer science from the University of California.

Liren had been working at Google as a software engineer since 2020, while Xuanyi joined the company in 2021 after leaving Amazon. The couple had been living at their Santa Clara County home for more than a year. The neighbours told the media that the couple mostly kept to themselves. There is no clarity yet as to what transpired before the alleged murder.

Meanwhile, District Attorney Jeff Rosen has appealed to people to come forward if they are facing domestic violence. In a statement issued after the incident, he said: "Domestic violence deaths have been falling in our county but that does not measure the depth and destructiveness of the violence".

"Anyone who feels that they or someone else is being abused by their partners, please reach out your local law enforcement agency. You are not alone. We can help".

In a similar incident reported from New York in 2021, a man beat his wife to death with a crowbar in broad daylight because she was reportedly cheating on him.

Julio Aponte "bludgeoned" his wife Maria Kelly to death on the bus stop next to Fort Washington Avenue and West 163rd Street, with a crowbar that appeared to be covered in a black plastic bag. "How dare you cheat on me," the 63-year-old screamed at her as he thrashed her in a fit of rage.

A video shared on Twitter (now X) showed the man sitting on top of his wife as he bashed her with the weapon, while passersby pleaded with him to stop the attack. The accused seemingly hit her three times while she was lying lifeless on the sidewalk and then threw the bag of the crowbar under the bus bench.

The man, dressed in a black hoodie and black pants, then stood up and tossed his backpack over him. He stood over Kelly and wildly gesticulated at her while horrified witnesses called the police. After lingering for a few seconds, he fled from the scene on a motorcycle, which he later dumped. He confessed that he had killed his wife to a parking attendant, who urged him to surrender himself to the police.

He called the cops after being urged by the attendant, and he admitted that he killed his wife because she had been unfaithful.

The 49-year-old victim, a mother-of-two who worked at a school, was found by NYPD officers on the ground unconscious, with severe head trauma, and was immediately rushed to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She went into cardiac arrest and succumbed to her injuries four days after the attack.

He was sentenced to 20 years to life behind bars last year in August.