Woman survives after being stabbed, buried alive by estranged husband
A Washington state woman was stabbed, then buried alive by her estranged husband – but she managed to survive the terrifying ordeal by squirming around the shallow grave for hours to keep the dirt off her face.
A Thurston County sheriff’s deputy responded about 1 a.m. Monday to a home in Lacey, about 60 miles southwest of Seattle, where Young An, 42, banged on the door pleading for help because her husband was trying to kill her, police said in a release.
“My husband is trying to kill me!” she screamed, according to a declaration of probable cause cited by NBC News.
“She had duct tape still wrapped around her neck, lower face and ankles,” the document said. “There was extensive bruising to her legs, arms and head and her clothing and hair were covered in dirt.”
Young’s hours-long nightmare began Sunday afternoon, when her husband, Chae Kyong An, 53, allegedly attacked her in her home during a fight about their divorce and finances, she told cops.
She said she managed to call 911 with her Apple Watch and sent a notification to her emergency contacts when he left the bedroom after duct-taping her, according to NBC News.
Chae then allegedly dragged her into the garage, where he broke her watch with a hammer and drive off with her, according to officials.
The woman — who has a domestic violence protection order against her estranged husband — told investigators she heard him digging in the dirt before he stabbed her in her chest.
“She was drug and put into the ground. … A heavy tree was put on top of her. After being put into the ground she could hear her husband walking around the hole and dirt being put on top of her,” the court document cited by NBC News says.
Young said she managed to breathe by squirming to keep the dirt from suffocating as she lay in the shallow grave for several hours before finally succeeding to tear of the tape.
She then took off running for about 30 minutes and found the home where she was saved just before 1 a.m. Monday.
The woman told police her husband had threatened her before, telling her that he would “rather kill her than give her his retirement money,” the probable cause statement said.
Police later found the shallow grave in the woods west of Rainier Road and south of Stedman Road near Lacey, KING 5 reported.
The woman’s hair and duct tape were recovered at the scene.
Cops spent hours hunting for Young after responding to her 911 call shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday and finding the garage door open, Lacey police said in a release.
Young’s children told police that their mom and dad were at the home but left to go to the store about a half-hour prior to them arriving, cops said.
“Officers cleared the home and no one was located. There was used duct tape found in the home; it is believed to have been used on the victim,” the statement added.
Police issued a missing-person alert, canvassed the area for the woman and recovered several surveillance videos.
Chae who was arrested after a hiker spotted his 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan on a local trail.
The suspect has been held without bail and faces recommended charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree assault, prosecutors said in the affidavit.