Mother recalls hectic scene after 3 found dead in St. Paul

7:49 PM, Mar 25, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- All mothers want the best for their children. So when Mai Thao's youngest son said he wanted to save his crumbling marriage Thao supported him.


Chue Lor, 31, and his wife Pahnia Yang, 27, fell in love when they were teenagers. The two had four children but in recent years Thao said they developed marital problems. 

The young couple was not divorced but Yang moved out a month ago. On Sunday she returned to the couple's apartment on Victoria Avenue North to retrieve some clothes and money, according to Thao. Yang's own brother, Kong Meng Lee, 18, came to the couple's home to talk Yang in staying, Thao said.

Thao and her grandchildren were in the apartment that afternoon and knew the situation was getting intense.

"After crying my daughter-in-law went into the bedroom, and then the brother-in-law followed her inside, my son went in too and I followed," Thao said.

The argument got loud very quickly she recalled.

"My son grabbed my daughter-in-law. I didn't see anything in their hands, no knife, nothing. The brother-in-law had nothing. She had nothing. My son had nothing. I thought there's no reason to be afraid so I just watched," Thao said.

She watched until it turned violent.

"I went to turn off the TV. I came back and they were fighting like bulls. I don't know who killed who, or if anyone had a knife," Thao said.

She grabbed her grandchildren and escaped to another apartment before she realized one child was missing and went back. That's when she said she saw her daughter-in-law dead on the floor.


"My son always cried. I thought if they kept trying they would have a good life but whenever she left and came back she was always unhappy," Thao said.

The couple's four children are currently living with an uncle. The cause and manner of death have not been ruled on.


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