Remains believed to belong to a missing California mom have been found hours after her husband was arrested over her disappearance two months ago.
The search for 33-year-old Heather Gumina came to a grim conclusion on Friday when her body was discovered in Pleasant Valley, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.
Anthony Gumina, 44, was arrested on an outstanding no-bail warrant for domestic violence as detectives were searching for the body.
‘Following the discovery, EDSO detectives arrested Anthony Gumina for homicide,’ officials announced in a Facebook post.
Heather, a mother of three, was reported missing from her Placerville home on July 16, the day after she was released from the hospital with a broken collar bone.
A week later, Anthony filed for a restraining order against Heather, claiming in the petition that the pair had gotten into a brutal fight on the day she disappeared.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV three weeks ago, Anthony insisted that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance – despite having been interviewed several times by police who searched his home for 30 hours.
After authorities revealed that Heather’s remains had been found, her mother Joanna Russel, said the family had long feared this is how the extensive search would end.
‘We’re super sad about what happened and I don’t know if we’re ever going to be okay,’ Russel, 51, told FOX40. ‘I miss my daughter.’
Heather’s three children, a 14-year-old daughter and sons aged four and 13, have been looked after by relatives since their mother vanished.
‘My daughter was one of the most giving, loyal people I’ve ever known,’ Russel said. ‘I’m going to grieve for a very long time. It’s like the world’s worst nightmare.’
Anthony, a carpet fitter, insisted to DailyMailTV last month that he has been out looking for his wife ‘every day’ but the organizers of the official Heather Gumina search group said that he has not been involved with them.
He had been the subject of a pending domestic violence case, due to go to trial this month, after he allegedly headbutted Heather during a vicious fight in February.
He was accused of trying to prevent her from calling the cops. A blood test administered after his arrest showed that he had been under the influence of meth and opiates at the time.
In the petition for a restraining order filed July 23, Anthony described the fight he and Heather allegedly had in front of her mother the day she disappeared.
He said Heather ‘punched me in the face [….] tried to tip wheelbarrow full of sand on my legs’.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMailTV, Anthony, who married Heather on March 18, admitted that his marriage is in tatters but denied harming her and said he is praying for her to be found.
The 44-year-old, who is currently serving a five-year probation term after being convicted of burglary and witness intimidation in February 2017, claimed that the headbutting incident was ‘a misunderstanding’ but also said she had called the cops in a deliberate attempt to have him sent back to jail.
Anthony said: ‘I want her to just show up and be OK and for everything to be alright. I didn’t do anything [to her]. I married her because I love her.
He added: ‘Look, this marriage is not going to work out but I would never do anything like this [harming her]. I’m a lover. I’m not that kind of guy.
‘The sheriffs [deputies] were here for like 30 hours doing an investigation. They took my car. They walked every piece of land so I’m cleaning up again and again and again and I’m dealing with my wife. I don’t deserve this.’
Kathy Schneider, 55, a close friend of Heather’s said: ‘We don’t hear from him much. We don’t hear from him. He’s not helping with the search efforts and he’s not in our search group.’
Holly Smith, 52, of Placerville, California, told DailyMailTV that Heather’s mother has been left ‘devastated’ by her daughter’s disappearance.
She said: ‘She’s really missing her. If Heather was available to call home, she would call home. She speaks to her mother several times a day.
‘Heather is a strong girl and if she were able to make it to a phone, she would make it to a phone.’
Heather’s mother was too distressed to speak to DailyMailTV but issued a statement via a friend in which she described the mom-of-three as ‘the best daughter anyone could ask for’.
She added: ‘I miss her beautiful smile and her thoughtfulness towards me and her kids. She was always doing something kind for all of her kids, family and friends.
‘She was a hard worker and truly beautiful inside and out. Her friends have been calling me daily for updates. Life without her is so unimaginable.’
Other friends described the mother-of-three as popular and devoted to her children but admitted she had had problems with substance abuse in the past.
Court records show she had several convictions for burglary and DUI but the 33-year-old had begun to turn her life around – proudly posting a letter confirming she had completed her probation on Facebook last August.
A letter from a child psychologist lodged with court as part of the domestic violence case and seen by DailyMailTV notes that she was a devoted mother to her youngest son Ryder, four.
Smith said: ‘She’s an amazing mom, she’s devoted to her children. She’s quite popular and she has a lot of friends. Her mom misses her a lot.’
Although Gumina insisted that he was desperate for his wife of six months to be found, he also told DailyMailTV that she had ongoing addiction problems and had ‘a dark side as well as a wife side.’
He said: ‘My wife had some problems, you know. I’m not sure of what she’s ever done – she’s had numerous marriages and similar kind of situations…
‘She’s got some of her own addiction problems and whatnot that she’s been dealing with for a long time.
‘I kind of got used to not knowing with my wife a little bit. I told her, whatever’s going on in your life, I want to know, I want to understand.
‘She has her dark side and then she has her wife side. I probably shouldn’t say much more than that out of respect for her.’
Like Heather, Anthony also has a string of previous convictions – among them busts in 2002 and 2003 for meth possession.
In June 2016, he was arrested along with his father John and was found to have six guns, one of which was stolen, several high capacity magazines and a quantity of meth in his possession.
The following February, he was sentenced to five years on probation after being convicted of drug possession, burglary and witness intimidation.
Court documents show his probation is currently suspended pending his trial on domestic violence charges.
He also faces a second violation hearing after a urine test showed meth and opiates in his system.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Megan Sheets and Ruth Styles