A woman in Washington state managed to escape after her estranged husband allegedly stabbed her and buried her alive in the woods, police said.
A Thurston County sheriff’s deputy discovered a distressed woman hiding in the front yard of a home just before 1 a.m. on Monday, NBC News reported, citing court documents.
“My husband is trying to kill me,” she screamed, according to the declaration of probable cause obtained by NBC News.
“She had duct tape still wrapped around her neck, lower face and ankles,” the document said, per NBC. “There was extensive bruising to her legs, arms and head and her clothing and hair were covered in dirt.”
Deputies were called to the scene after the woman pounded on the door of a local resident and asked for help.
The woman told detectives her husband had kidnapped her from her home and driven her into the woods. She said she was able to escape and walked 20 to 30 minutes through the woods to the house where she asked for help.
The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
According to the Lacey Police Department, the woman had a domestic violence protection order against her husband, Chae Kyong An, 53. He was arrested several hours later after a hiker spotted his van on a trail.
According to the Thurston County Correction Facility’s inmate database, he’s been charged with kidnapping, domestic violence and attempted murder and is being held without bail.
Police obtained security videos from the woman’s neighbors that showed her husband pulling his van into her garage and then driving away soon afterwards.
The woman told police she was taken somewhere in the van and then placed on the ground outside. According to the probable cause declaration, the woman said she could hear her husband digging.
The woman alleged that he then stabbed her in her chest and put into the ground with a heavy tree on top of her, NBC reported. She said she managed to keep dirt off her face by wriggling around and, after what she guessed was hours, managed to remove the duct tape and flee. She said the van was still parked nearby with a light on when she escaped from the grave.
Police said they had also been called to her home in an “unknown trouble call” before she was kidnapped. Dispatch said they could hear muffled screaming and sounds of a struggle.
The woman later told police she had managed to call 911 with her Apple watch after he duct-taped her hands and eyes.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.