Texas authorities have alleged that a woman found murdered in her home was actually killed by her husband. Spouse Christopher Michael Collins, 41, tried to cover up his shooting of Yuan Liang, 46, by making it seem like a purported intruder was the killer, but surveillance footage, a new life insurance policy, and the suspicious contents of a gym locker ultimately did him in, according to prosecutors in Harris County.
Arrest update to Clayton Bluff Ln: the initial scene appeared to be staged, great work by our Homicide Investigators to unravel this one. The victim, identified as Yuan Liang (46), died from a gunshot wound to the head. The victim’s husband, Christopher Collins (41) has been https://t.co/qfu4d3bc8A
— Ed Gonzalez (@SheriffEd_HCSO) November 25, 2021
Someone shot Liang in the head, Harris County deputies said early in the investigation. In the initial account from Nov. 18, Liang called her husband that day to say someone was on their property. The husband — Collins — could not reach her back. Deputies arrived at the home, with Collins arriving shortly after, authorities said. He allegedly said that a person trespassed on their property two weeks before; authorities reportedly said they were called out about a suspicious man.
The husband and deputies entered the home to found Liang dead on the floor that day.
But prosecutors said in a probable cause hearing that there were no signs of forced entry and no signs of a struggle, according to Houston television station KPRC. Nothing seemed to be stolen, they added.
Collins’s story allegedly started to fall apart. According to authorities, there were cameras inside that could be remotely viewed, but Collins said that he did not check the system after he could not reach Liang. He allegedly also said he did not know why he did not immediately return home.
“[He] Didn’t know why he remained at the gym for 45 minutes; it was only 3.5 miles from his home,” the prosecutor said.
Asked if he and his wife had a life insurance policy, Collins allegedly said no because they missed a payment, but investigators said they found life insurance papers for a $250,000 policy that the couple signed on Nov. 16.
Collins allegedly said that there should be a 9mm handgun in the laundry room that his wife had purchased. He said that he did not like guns, and that there was no ammunition in the house, but detectives eventually found a .22 caliber bullet in his pants, authorities said.
Surveillance footage from the gym allegedly showed Collins exercising for just five minutes. He allegedly entered and left the locker room repeatedly. Authorities claimed to find his wife’s wallet, her IDs, passport, bank cards, cosmetic bag, and cash in one of the locked lockers. She had last been there with her husband on Nov. 8, but neither seemed to use the locker rooms, and besides, gym staff members said they cleaned the lockers of items on Nov. 13. Anything left behind was moved to a lost and found, the staff reported to the authorities.
Liang was shot wearing a sleep mask, and a bag was apparently put over her head after that, authorities said. They are using this detail against Collins, suggesting he did not want to see his wife’s face as she died, KTRK reported.
Collins is being held on a $150,000 bond. He reportedly did not show up to court because he was getting a mental health evaluation. His attorney of record did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.
Read some of the case file below:
[Screenshot via KTRK]
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