Man Murdered Wife, Hid Her Remains in Santa Cruz Mountains, Police Say

Police became aware of the woman's disappearance after being alerted that she had not contacted her employer since before New Year's Day

<p>Alamy</p> Santa Cruz Mountains


Santa Cruz Mountains

An investigation into the whereabouts of a missing 40-year-old California woman has led to the arrest of her husband.

John Maxey Yeager was charged with one count of murder and a count of felony false imprisonment in connection with the death of his wife, YingYing “Dawn” Yu, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, reports The Mercury News.

The outlet reported that he was arraigned on Tuesday and a "no-contact protective order for four minors" was approved by the court. The minors are "presumably the children of Yeager and the victim," and a fifth protective order was also given to an unnamed individual, according to the outlet.

The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that Yeager was arraigned and has not yet entered a plea.

The department announced on Tuesday that "possible human remains" believed to be of Yu were found in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Authorities alleged that an investigation showed that Yeager had visited the area earlier this year, and an identification of the remains is pending confirmation by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner.

Related: Officer Accused of Sexually Assaulting Woman Allegedly Told Her He Didn't 'Intentionally Rape' Her: Police

Police became aware of Yu's disappearance on Jan. 8 after being alerted that she had not contacted her employer since before New Year's Day and could not be reached.

"Investigators sought information through various means to determine Yu's welfare and whereabouts. Information provided by Yu's husband, John Yeager, was found to be inconsistent with information obtained by officers," the news release alleged.

The department said that they "sought information through various means to determine Yu's welfare and whereabouts" and found evidence of a domestic violence dispute that occurred between the two on the evening of Dec. 31.

Related: Man Allegedly Shoots Two Family Members, Believing They Were Performing 'Witchcraft' on Him: Sheriff

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of police sirens


Stock image of police sirens

Yeager, 56, was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on Jan. 11 for charges related to the domestic violence incident. The investigation continued as additional evidence of "foul play related to Yu's welfare" was allegedly found. The team's collaborative efforts led them to discover Yeager's connection to the area on Saturday.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

"We appreciate the assistance, trust and confidence placed in us by Dawn Yu's community, colleagues and family throughout the investigation and express our deepest condolences to all who knew Dawn Yu," the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department shared in their update.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.