A Minnesota woman has been charged with the death of her ex-husband, who had been reported missing, after his body was discovered in their backyard over the weekend.
Authorities found the body of Kou Yang on Saturday in St. Paul. An autopsy revealed he had been shot twice in the head. Police arrested Karina See Her, 40, in connection with the slaying. She is charged with second-degree murder, not premeditated.
During a search of the home, police found blood splatter on the bedroom wall, which had been painted over and a carpet cleaning machine had blood inside it, the Pioneer Press in St. Paul reported.
The pair had previously accused each other of domestic violence, police said. Yang was reported missing by family members on July 23 and had not been seen since July 3. Neighbors noticed a bad smell coming from the couple’s backyard, prompting authorities to visit the home.
Violence Free Minnesota, which tracks “intimate partner homicides,” will not include Yang on its list after researching court records Monday, the group said.
“We found a long, detailed, and documented history of abuse and controlling behavior by Kou Yang,” Joe Shannon, the group’s data and communications program manager, said through a police statement. “Because of that, we consider Karina to be a survivor of relationship abuse, and do not count Kou Yang as a victim of intimate partner homicide.”
In a pair of January and March 2020 police reports, Yang said Her threatened to shoot him and she reported that he broke a door, which fell on her. They each filed orders of protection against each other, according to the newspaper.
Yang filed for divorce in December and said the couple would be living together until they sold their house before going their separate ways. The marriage was dissolved in February.
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When the police responded to the home on July 22, Her said Yang left the home around June 30 and that she woke up and his clothes were gone. She said she tried calling him but the calls went straight to his voicemail, the news outlet reported.
She said he went to Oklahoma to visit his family and to smoke marijuana and that she thought he left in an Uber because all the vehicles were still at the home.
She later filed a missing person report. Her’s 17-year-old daughter also called 911 and said she had not heard from her father. She said “she believed her mother may have killed” Yang and buried him in the garden, a criminal complaint said.
She said a hole had been dug in the backyard. Her told police she was trying to repair the patio and had to remove a tree stump, the complaint said.
She is being held in the Ramsey County jail on $2 million bail, WCCO-TV reported. She faces up to 40 years in prison.