Woman made chilling call before she was buried alive by husband amid bitter divorce, police say

The eerie call was made from 42-year-old Young Sook An’s Apple Watch

Andrea Blanco
Thursday 03 November 2022 20:50 GMT
Woman calls 911 before being kidnapped and buried alive by husband
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Louise Thomas

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A 911 call captured the terrifying moments before a Washington woman was kidnapped and buried alive by her husband, police say.

The eerie call was made from 42-year-old Young Sook An’s Apple Watch while she was being hogtied and gagged allegedly by her estranged husband, Chae An, 53, Fox News reported. The 911 dispatcher repeatedly asked Ms An if she was having a medical emergency or was in any danger but the only response was her muffled screams.

Officers with the Lacey Police Department were dispatched to the home on the 3800 block of Rossberg St around 1pm on 16 October. Surveillance video from a home nearby captured a car believed to be Mr An speeding by a police vehicle sent to investigate the chilling call.

Authorities arrived at the scene to find the garage door open and were told by the An children that their parents had been there about half an hour before but were now gone. An endangered missing person notice was issued for Ms An, and the public was advised not to approach Mr An.

In the early morning hours of 17 October, Ms An pounded on the door of a home on Steadman Road, saying her husband had tried to kill her and that she had dug herself out of a 19-inch grave where he had buried her after stabbing her in the chest.

Ms An, who is going through a bitter divorce battle with Mr An and had a domestic violence protective order against him, said that her husband drove her to a wooded area after an altercation at their home and placed a heavy tree above the shallow grave.

(Young Sook An )

Mr An was arrested around 8am on 17 October after a resident noticed his vehicle 200 yards off of Steadman Road in the woods, police said. He was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree domestic violence kidnapping and first-degree domestic violence assault.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges on Tuesday. Mr An is being held without bail ahead of his next hearing on 16 November.

A probable cause affidavit obtained by Fox News details the excruciating ordeal Ms An went through before managing to crawl out of the shallow grave.

The 911 dispatcher said that the caller was not able to verbally communicate with them but her screams were heard amid dog barks and other noises. The operator told police that they heard what appeared to be a struggle before the call went totally silent.

When authorities arrived at the scene, they found signs of struggle and were told by Ms An’s children, aged 20 and 11, that they had seen their father’s van after returning from church earlier that day. The children had gone out before returning to find police at the home.

A friend of Ms An and one of her children told authorities that they had received messages from her stating there was an emergency and with the residence’s location. The friend also told police that Mr An had allegedly told his estranged wife he “wasn’t going down alone.”

(Lacey Police Department )

Surveillance footage also showed Mr An entering his van inside the home garage and exiting moments later.

A breakthrough came hours later after the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a Steadman Road resident saying a distressed woman had knocked on their door. A deputy found Ms An hiding in the home’s front yard shed.

“My husband is trying to kill me. Help!” Ms An reportedly said. “He is still out in the woods somewhere.”

According to the incident report, Ms An was covered in bruises and dirt, and had duct tape on her neck and ankles. She told the deputy she had rushed to the first house she had seen after crawling out of the grave and running through the woods for at least 20 minutes.

She was then transferred to a hospital to be treated for non-fatal stab wounds on her breasts.

Ms An told police that the attack unfolded after she asked her children to leave the home so she could talk to her estranged husband about their divorce and money matters. He then allegedly surprised her while she was changing in the upstairs master bedroom and hit her in the head, according to the complaint.

She managed to call 911 with her Apple Watch, which was later allegedly struck with a hammer by Mr An when he realised she had asked for help.

She said she attempted to open the back door of the van with her toes. Ms An also alleged that Mr An had previously threatened to take her life, but she never believed he would be capable of doing it.

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