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A St. Paul woman has been arrested after her husband was found buried in the backyard, according to police.
Karina See Her, 40, was taken into custody after a crime scene unit from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension discovered the body of Kou Yang, 50, under a newly erected shed on the property, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Neighbors living in the St. Paul area told police of a foul smell coming from the yard since early July.
They said the odor had persisted “for a solid week,” according to KSTP News.
On July 22, someone called local authorities and asked them to do a welfare check on Kou Yang, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Star Tribune. The caller had not seen him for several weeks.
When police went to the home, Her told them that Yang had gone to Oklahoma to visit relatives and smoke marijuana, according to KSTP. Her said Yang left after she’d threatened to get an order of protection against him.
Despite no longer being married, the pair still lived together in their St. Paul home.
Her claimed that on June 30, she woke up in the middle of the night to find Yang was gone, according to KSTP. She did not follow up in looking for him, saying he’d left home “many times in the past,” and would get mad any time she’d try to look for him.
Police said a search of the home showed several rooms had been recently repainted and remodeled, which Her explained as part of their divorce agreement to keep the house from going into foreclosure, according to KSTP.
Later that same day, Her also called the police to tell them she hadn’t seen her former husband since July 1.
A third call to police came only hours later from Her’s 17-year-old daughter, claiming that she had received a text from her 12-year-old sister who said their mother drove the younger daughter to the woods, according to the Tribune.
The younger daughter said Her walked into the forest with a “long object” in a bag and returned to the car empty-handed.
After the older daughter called the police, the 12-year-old sent allegedly her another text that read: “Mommy is suspicious,” according to KSTP.
The older daughter said she had been staying with friends at the time of her stepfather’s disappearance, encouraged by her mother to stay away from the home.
The 17-year-old visited the Yang-Her home on July 2 and discovered a hole in the back yard with a “tarp-like item” covering it, according to the Tribune.
The teen also noticed security cameras, controlled by an app on Her’s phone, were removed from the garage, according to KSTP.
In the days following the daughter’s July 2 visit, Her built a shed on top of the hole.
Karina See Her “denied she had an argument with (Yang) the night he went missing,” a police sergeant told the Pioneer Press.
Her also gave a reason for the foul smell.
“When asked about something that smelled really bad in her backyard around the week of July 5, 2021, Her said there was a lot of pigeon poop from a coop they had,” according to the complaint.
A search warrant was issued, and cadaver dogs led to the body of Kou Yang in the hole under the shed. He had been shot twice in the back of the head.
Furthermore, police found blood spatter on the painted wall of the bedroom, according to the Press. Blood was also found in a carpet-cleaning vacuum in the garage.
Karina See Her was arrested on Saturday for second-degree murder with intent, not-premeditated, according to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office jail roster.
Her remains in custody in lieu of $2 million bail and is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
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