Texas man charged with murder of wife 2 days after signing $250,000 life insurance policy

Crime & Public Safety

Authorities say Collins staged the crime scene to look like a home invasion

CYPRESS, Texas (KETK) – A man was charged with the murder of his wife after she was found dead in their home in Cypress. Authorities said the cause of death for Yuan Hua Liang, 46, was a single gunshot wound to the head on Nov. 18.

According to KPRC, while in the process of determining probable cause, investigators said that Christopher Michael Collins, 41, asked Harris County Sheriff’s deputies to check on his wife at their house. Collins claimed that while he was at the gym and getting food, he got a text from his wife.

A prosecutor told the court that Collins said that he texted his wife back but she did not reply.

When deputies went to the couple’s home in the 1800 block Clayton Bluff Lane, Collins arrived after them and let the deputies in through the front door, deputies said.

“The officer stated once the front door was open the defendant stood in the doorway not moving for several seconds,” said the prosecutor.

According to deputies, Collins’ wife was found shot dead in the living room and a cloth bag had been placed over her face.

There were no signs of forced entry into the home from the inside, and officers saw that the door was unlocked and there were four dogs in the backyard, according to the prosecutor.

Investigators said that there were no signs of struggle and nothing appeared to be stolen. Detectives noticed that the home was equipped with cameras that could be viewed remotely but when asked, Collins said that he did not check them after not being able to reach his wife.

“The defendant stated, ‘no,’ he doesn’t know why he didn’t check. The defendant stated he doesn’t know why he didn’t go straight home. Didn’t know why he remained at the gym for 45 minutes, it was only 3.5 miles from his home,” the prosecutor said.

Collins told investigators that he was driving a rental car because his was repossessed.

Detectives asked Collins if his wife had life insurance, he said that she did not because they missed a payment.

“Officers who searched the home found a sheet of paper on the desk inside the residence, the paper was for life insurance for $250,000,” a prosecutor said. “The officer stated that the defendant and the complainant had signed the paper for life insurance on Nov. 16, 2021.”

When investigators asked Collins if there was a gun in the house, he told them that there should be a 9mm handgun in the laundry room. He told the investigators that there was no ammunition in the house, but they later found a .22 caliber bullet in his pants.

The medical examiner ruled Liang’s cause of death to be a gunshot to the head from a small caliber weapon, and she had no other injuries. According to the prosecutor, the ME also said that Liang was wearing a sleep mask, and the brown bag looked as if it was placed over her face after she was shot.

Detectives checked the surveillance video at the gym which revealed that Collins only worked out for five minutes, but kept going in and out of the locker room. Investigators later found Liang’s wallet, IDs, passport, bank cards and cash in one of the locked lockers along with her cosmetic bag, according to detectives.

The gym surveillance showed that the last time Liang and Collins were at the gym was Nov. 8 and neither of them appeared to use the locker rooms. Gym staff told the detectives that the lockers were last swept on Nov. 13 and any items found in the lockers would have been removed and placed in lost and found.

Authorities said that they were called to the couple’s home two weeks prior to the murder after a suspicious man was reported in their backyard, but no other details were given about the incident. A witness told investigators that they heard “two individuals arguing from the direction of that home.”

During the probable cause hearing, Collins was not present becuase he was undergoing a mental health evaluation at the jail. His bond was set at $150,000 and he remains in the Harris County Jail. Prosecutors asked for a $200,00 bond stating, “The defendant murdered his wife with a firearm, then went to great lengths to make it look like she was killed by an intruder.”

KPRC said that a review of their social media profiles showed that Collins was an artist and Liang who appeared to go by the name of Kiki recently started a business to handle social media pages for other businesses.

Neighbors of Collins and Liang who knew the couple said that they showed no outward signs of trouble. A friend of the couple told KPRC that  Liang’s family lives overseas but were on their way to Houston.

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