SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Former San Diego man Anthony Simoneau has been charged with the 2007 murder of his Japanese wife Fumiko Ogawa, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced Sept. 5.
Ogawa’s body was found in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park near the Bow Willow Campground on Jan. 20, 2007, but was not identified until a DNA match in 2011.
Honolulu police arrested Simoneau, 46, around 4 p.m. Sept. 4 on an extradition warrant issued by San Diego authorities, said Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu.
Simoneau’s extradition hearing was set for the morning of Sept. 8 in Honolulu.
On the murder charge, Simoneau faces a maximum of 25-years-to-life in prison if he is convicted.
Ogawa, then 41, was last seen near the Point Loma home she shared with Simoneau on or around Jan. 4, 2007, according to the San Diego DA’s Office.
According to a 2011 San Diego police affidavit filed in support of a search warrant for a life insurance policy taken out on Ogawa, Ogawa’s family in Japan said the last time they heard from her was early January 2007. She died a week before the body was found on Jan. 20, 2007, the document said.
Married since 1996, Simoneau filed for divorce from Ogawa in 2002, but retracted the divorce application the following year, the police statement said.
Later that year, Ogawa inherited a large sum of money from an aunt and uncle in Japan.
Following the inheritance, Simoneau allegedly came to own four Land Rovers, a Hummer, four boats, two other vehicles and a motorcycle. However, around mid-2006, he started pawning mostly women’s jewelry with local pawn brokers.
‘According to the statement, Simoneau said he tried to report his wife missing a couple of days after she left him, but there is no record of any report.
Even after Ogawa had died, Simoneau allegedly continued to refer to her as if she were alive, writing, “Tell everyone we said thanks and will miss you all. The Simoneaus,” in a goodbye letter to the couple’s landlord in September 2007, eight months following Ogawa’s death.
The manager of Simoneau and Ogawa’s apartment reportedly told police Simoneau told her Ogawa had gone to Japan to care for an ailing relative, while Simoneau allegedly told neighbors that Ogawa was in Hawai‘i setting up their new home.
The police statement concluded, “The circumstances of Fumiko Simoneau’s death suggest Anthony Simoneau killed her and moved on with his life.”
When Ogawa’s body was identified, Simoneau was already living in Honolulu.
Around June 2011, he was arrested and charged in Honolulu with felony theft for stealing luggage from a store at Ala Moana Shopping Center. He pled guilty and was sentenced to five years probation.
This past August, a Hawai‘i judge deferred Simoneau’s probation for three years and set aside his guilty plea.