Cops: Stabbed and Buried Alive, She Made Incredible Escape

Chae An of Washington state charged with attempted murder of estranged wife Young An
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2022 9:25 AM CDT
Cops: Stabbed and Buried Alive, She Made Incredible Escape
Chae An.   (Thurston County Sheriff's Office)

Washington couple Young and Chae An "are going through a messy divorce," as Fox News puts it. That looks to be an immense understatement, as the outlet reports Chae is accused of hog-tying his estranged wife before dragging her from her Lacey home and burying her alive in the woods. Young An, 42, was able to drag herself from her would-be grave and run to a nearby home for help, police say. She told police an argument erupted during which her husband told her "he would rather kill her than give her his retirement money," according to court documents. The mother of two said he tied and gagged her and beat her with a hammer on Oct. 16, though she was able to call 911 using her Apple Watch, which Chae subsequently smashed.

A 911 operator noted a woman "was heard screaming, sounded 'gagged,' and could not talk," amid other sounds of "banging and struggling," per the Daily Beast. However, the couple had vanished by the time help arrived. Young—who filed for divorce over the summer and obtained a restraining order against Chae, which was afterward rescinded by the courts—later told officers that he'd dragged her into his van, then drove to a section of woods, where he stabbed her in the chest and threw her in a shallow grave, which he then allegedly covered with dirt and a heavy tree. Young said she remained there for hours, struggling to breathe, before escaping shortly after midnight. She wandered for 20 to 30 minutes before finding help at a stranger's home.

Officers found Young—covered in dirt and bruises, with duct tape hanging from her neck and ankles—cowering in fear behind a shed on the property, according to a probable cause statement. "She grabbed onto the deputy and frantically said, 'My husband is trying to kill me. Help me,'" it reads, per the Daily Beast. She also claimed her husband was "still out in the woods somewhere." Chae An was arrested about six hours later near his vehicle in the woods, where officers found a 6-foot-by-3-foot grave, just 19 inches deep, containing strands of Young's hair, documents state. The 53-year-old armed forces veteran is being held without bail on charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree domestic violence kidnapping, and first-degree domestic violence assault. (More attempted murder stories.)

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