Troy Edward Nosenzo, 50, was found dead in his car on the side of Highway 129, a rural roadway in San Benito County, Saturday afternoon, San Jose police spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.
Authorities think he killed himself by overdosing on sleeping pills, Dwyer said. The official cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner's Office, he said.
The death comes after police had asked for the public's help in finding Nosenzo after authorities said they believed he killed his wife in their home. Officers had been to the home twice before to investigate allegations of domestic violence, Dwyer said.
"There was a history there, there was a pattern there," Dwyer said of previous police calls to the home.
Nosenzo had not been arrested previously at the home because his suspected actions did not rise to a "criminal level," Dwyer said.
Police started looking for Nosenzo after his wife's body was found dead in San Jose's upscale Blossom Valley neighborhood a little before 8 a.m. Friday, Dwyer said.
The discovery came after someone made a 911 call from the home around dawn, but hung up before giving any information, Dwyer said. Dispatchers called back several times with no answer, he said.
Dwyer said his department gets "hundreds of 911 hang-ups a year" and that officers followed protocol.
Investigators have not released the 54-year-old woman's name or said how she was killed. They have, however, said she was Nosenzo's wife.
Brandon Harper, Nosenzo's nephew, told San Francisco's KGO-TV that he had lived in the home. Harper said friction caused by his personal bouts with the law and financial problems between the couple forced him to move out.
"My aunt had her problems, my uncle had his problems," he told the station. "People accuse each other, and there's more problems. She just didn't deserve to be killed."
The killing was the 41st homicide of the year in San Jose, surpassing the 40 homicides in the city last year.