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Washington woman survives after being kidnapped and buried alive by husband, police say

Chae Kyong An

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    A man was arrested for allegedly kidnapping his wife and attempting to bury her alive in the woods in Lacey, Washington.

    Police responded to a home in Lacey at about 1 a.m. on Monday, where they located Young An, 42, pleading for help, according to a declaration of probable cause filed on Wednesday in Thurston County’s superior court.

    “My husband is trying to kill me,” the woman reportedly screamed.

    “She had duct tape still wrapped around her neck, lower face and ankles,” the filing read. “There was extensive bruising to her legs, arms and head and her clothing and hair were covered in dirt.”

    Young told police that her husband, Chae Kyong An, 53, attacked her in her home on Oct. 16 after they spoke about their ongoing divorce and finances. She said that Chae had threatened her before, saying that he would “rather kill her than give her his retirement money,” according to the probable cause statement.

    Chae allegedly punched Young multiple times before binding her eyes, hands and body with duct tape. She managed to contact 911 and send an emergency notification to her emergency contacts using her Apple watch when he left her bedroom.

    According to reports, Chae dragged Young into the garage and broke her watch with a hammer before loading her into a van and driving into the woods to bury her.

    Young told police that she heard her husband digging in the dirt before he allegedly stabbed her in the chest and placed her into the ground. 

    “She was drug and put into the ground. … A heavy tree was put on top of her,” the probable cause document reportedly read. “After being put into the ground she could hear her husband walking around the hole and dirt being put on top of her.”

    Young said she managed to keep dirt off her face by wiggling around as she laid in the grave for hours. When she managed to tear off the duct tape, she ran for about 30 minutes until she found a house. 

    The victim was taken to a hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

    Chae was arrested the same day after a hiker spotted his 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan on a local trail. He was later booked into Thurston County Jail, where he is currently held without bail.

    On Oct. 18, investigators found the shallow grave in the woods west of Rainier Road and south of Stedman Road near Lacey. Duct tape and the woman’s hair were also recovered at the scene.

    “The hole appeared to be freshly dug. Outside the hole was a piece of duct tape,” the report said.

    Chae faces potential charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree assault and felony harassment, according to prosecutors. 

    If you or anyone you know may be experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, visit or text START to 88788 for additional guidance and resources.


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