Bay Area software engineer turned himself in after killing wife and 11-year-old daughter, police say

Leonid Yamburg walked to the front doors of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Wednesday afternoon. Unable to enter the lobby due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bay Area News Group first reported, he spoke to a records clerk on a phone outside the lobby.

According to police, he told the government employee that he killed his wife, Svetlana Nikitina. The 51-year-old software engineer was promptly detained.

Hours later, officers entered their home in Sunnyvale, near Homestead High, and found his wife’s body in the garage. They then found his 11-year-old daughter’s body in a bathroom. No weapons were found on the scene, Sunnyvale Police Capt. Craig Anderson told SFGATE. His motive remains unclear.

Yamburg was then arrested on suspicion of the murder of his wife, who worked at the Cupertino Union School District as a resource teacher to students with disabilities for just over four years, and daughter. Their exact cause of death is unknown, and is currently being investigated by the Santa Clara County medical examiner-coroner.

“This is a horrific tragedy and our hearts are broken for the victims, the victim’s families and the victim’s friends,” Sunnyvale police said in a statement.

Cupertino Union School District associate superintendent Leslie Mains told SFGATE: “We are so saddened by the tragedy and are working to support our students, staff, and community during this very difficult time of tremendous loss.” Mains added that Nikitina was a “beloved” employee.

Zultys, the software company Yamburg worked at, did not respond to a request for comment from SFGATE.