A woman who was put in a shallow grave by her fiancée heroically dug herself out to freedom and has lived to talk about the horrifying experience. The Independent reports that 34-year-old Stacey Gwilliam had an extremely close brush with death during a terrifying incident involving the man whom she should have been able to trust the most.
The incident took place in July, while the couple were having an argument. Her then-fiancée reportedly grabbed her by her throat and strangled her. Once he believed he had strangled her to death (she was merely unconscious), he hid her body.
Later, the woman woke up in what she immediately knew to be a grave. She shared details about the petrifying experience in an interview, revealing that she had to dig herself out of the grave, where her bodybuilding boyfriend buried her while she was unconscious.
“It felt like was buried in a grave – there were dead branches, ferns and shrubs all over me. All the undergrowth was so heavy on top of me I was struggling to breathe or remember where I was. Everything seemed to be happening so slow. I managed to turn over and clawed – digging with my nails and dragged myself out.”
The woman was fortunate to free herself from the shallow grave where she was buried. She managed to make it to a golf club, where she collapsed. Just as fortunate, there were people at the location, and authorities were immediately called to assist the woman — who undoubtedly looked like she had been through a lot.
Bride-to-be crawled her way out of her own grave after being buried by fiance https://t.co/u7oh2VT0CE
— The Independent (@Independent) December 5, 2015
The 5’2″ woman spent nearly a month in a hospital in order to recover from what she had endured. Nearly half of the time she spent in the hospital was spent in a medically induced coma. Wales Online reports that 39-year-old Keith Hughes has been convicted of the charges associated with the near-fatal incident. He was sentenced with the requirement to serve at least eight and a half years in prison. The woman has claimed in an interview that she still suffers from panic attacks and other emotional symptoms associated with the attack she survived. So even though Hughes will be released from prison in less than a decade, this woman may live with the trauma for the rest of her life.
Stacey Gwilliam isn’t the only person to survive being buried alive, though her harrowing case is indeed a shocker. Earlier this month, police in Los Angeles rescued a newborn baby that had been buried alive and abandoned. The baby girl, who was extremely lucky to be alive, is estimated to had been approximately 36 hours old when she was discovered near a bike path. She had been buried under loose dirt and chunks of asphalt in a hasty attempt to conceal her and leave her for dead. Authorities are looking for the mother of this miracle baby. It should be noted that California is a safe haven state, meaning that this infant could have been dropped off at any fire station, sheriff’s office, or hospital without the mother facing criminal charges.
— CBS News 8 (@CBS8) December 1, 2015
In Gwilliam’s case, her will to survive overpowered her ex-fiancée’s will to kill and conceal her body. However, could this happen again? This incident was not the first time Keith Hughes had physically assaulted his wife-to-be. In fact, he had already served time in prison for how he mishandled her, but they chose to rekindle their relationship once he was released. She defends this decision by explaining that he promised to never hurt her again. He even proposed near the area where he most recently attacked her. Her love for him inspired her to forgive him. Could that happen again?
[Photo: Stacey Gwilliam Facebook photo]