According to court documents, a woman escaped her estranged husband’s alleged kidnapping, stabbing, and burying in the woods of Lacey, Washington, earlier this week.
Lacey Police Department said in a statement that a dispatcher answered a call and overheard “muffled screaming and sounds of a struggle” at Young An’s home on Rossberg Street on Sunday afternoon. Court documents state that there was constant screaming, but the dispatcher could not tell if it was medical or not. He also heard banging and barking — but then it became quiet.
As a result of being bound behind her back with duct tape, An later told police that she dialed 911 from her Apple watch. Eventually, her estranged husband, Chae An, smashed her watch with a hammer and dragged her from the house, she said.
Upon arriving at the house, police found the garage door open. An’s children arrived a few minutes later and told police that their parents had been there 30 minutes earlier, and a friend told police she received an “emergency text notification” from his phone.
The 53-year-old husband was previously subject to a domestic violence protection order, according to authorities. According to court records, the couple is going through divorce proceedings. However, the order has been lifted, and Chae An now visits the house once a week to do laundry.
As a result of the circumstances, police issued an endangered missing person alert to state law enforcement, as well as a cellphone emergency blast throughout Thurston and Pierce counties.
A video recovered by detectives showed Chae An had left moments before police arrived.
She then suddenly reappeared on Stedman Road about seven miles from her Rossberg Street home, banging on doors and asking for help from the community.
A police officer was called, and she told them Chae An had driven her into the woods, threw dirt over her, and placed a “heavy tree” over her. Police reported that she waited for hours for a chance to escape, then clawed her way out of her bindings and stumbled through the woods for a half-hour before calling for help on a residential street.
According to investigators, she was cowering behind a shed on the property when police arrived, clearly in distress.
According to the probable cause statement, Young ran at the deputy, screaming and pleading for help. “She grabbed onto the deputy frantically and said, ‘My husband is trying to kill me. Help me.'”
Her body was covered in dirt and duct tape hung from her neck, face, and ankles. She had also been stabbed multiple times in the breasts.
Young An was taken to a hospital after the deputy secured the scene. She told him her husband was still somewhere in the woods nearby.
After sunrise, a hiker saw the suspect’s vehicle parked nearby and called police, who arrested Chae An at the scene. In addition to finding duct tape in the woods, responding officers also found some of Young An’s hair and the face of a broken Apple watch on it, according to the affidavit.
Several charges have been filed against Chae An, including attempted murder, kidnapping and assault.