Did American husband murder his Russian wife?
Nina Reiser, mother of two children, vanished in September, 2006. Her husband, Hans Reiser, a computer programmer, stands accused of her murder.
The prosecution says the couple, who were going through a bitter divorce, were arguing over their children. The prosecuting D.A. says Hans Reiser wanted them schooled at home, and exposed their son to violent video games. The prosecution adds that his business trips to Russia, for nine months of the year and his dominating behaviour put great strain on the relationship.
Four years into the marriage, Nina Reiser began an affair and filed for divorce in 2004. Then two years later she disappeared
Investigators say she went grocery shopping with her son and daughter before dropping them off at the house where Hans Reiser was living.
What happened to Nina afterwards is still a mystery.
Her car was found five days later, but no body has ever been discovered.
The investigators say they found small amounts of blood matching Nina's DNA at Hans' home.
They also reported finding her blood in his car, which was missing the front passenger seat and had a floorboard soaked with water when police examined it.
“What's really important to remember here is that it's not enough for the prosecution to prove that if she was dead, he was the one who must have done it. That's not good enough. It has to be beyond a reasonable doubt she's dead. And beyond a reasonable doubt, he did it,” Professor Evan Lee from Hastings College of California explained.
William Du Bois, Hans Reiser's lawyer, says his client is innocent and was deceived by a woman who gained American citizenship and lived a lavish lifestyle through marriage.
“She was a high liver and very interested in her image. You notice the clothes she was wearing were designer clothes,” Mr Du Bois said.
He claims Nina may be alive and hiding in Russia where the Reiser children now live with their maternal grandmother.
“I can only say she may be. I don't know what happened when she disappeared or where she went,” he added.