Woman accused of kidnapping, repeatedly assaulting girlfriend

Posted 7/19/21

A 31-year-old Tacoma woman remains in Jefferson County Jail on charges of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon after she allegedly tried to beat her girlfriend with …

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Woman accused of kidnapping, repeatedly assaulting girlfriend

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A 31-year-old Tacoma woman remains in Jefferson County Jail on charges of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon after she allegedly tried to beat her girlfriend with a rubber mallet and threatened to kill her while the pair were camping at the Hoh Oxbow Campground.

Laura Ashley Silva was arrested July 2 after sheriff’s deputies were called to the campground on U.S. Highway 101 at 10 p.m. Thursday, July 1.

According to court documents, Silva’s girlfriend said she had been at a campsite with Silva, her on-and-off-again girlfriend, when Silva allegedly began hitting her and then started to chase her around a picnic table.

Silva then grabbed a rubber mallet, the victim said, and tried to hit her with it. The woman then alleged Silva grabbed a large stick that had been holding up a garbage bag at their campsite and began swinging it until it hit the picnic table and broke.

The woman than ran away to get help, but Silva grabbed her by the shirt and tired to pull her back toward the campsite. The victim told authorities she felt a hard object press into her back, which she thought was a gun, and Silva allegedly told her, “You know what this is. I’m going to kill you.”

The victim told police Silva had been carrying a gray gun in a pink holster on her hip, and had threatened her in the past.

She also told police that Silva tried to force her into a Toyota Yaris, but then “ripped their dog away” from her, got in the car and sped away. 

Silva went off the road and drove the vehicle into a ravine as she tried to leave.

The victim then said she ran over to the car and got the dog and tried to help Silva out of the Toyota, but ran away and hid in the woods when Silva started yelling at her, according to court documents.

Two campers told a deputy they had heard the pair arguing about cheating and the dog, then saw the Toyota speed away and then heard it crash into the ravine. They also said they saw Silva get out of the car and run up the road toward US 101.

One of the witnesses said he had seen Silva grab the dog, get in the car and speed away, then watched as Silva got out of the Toyota after she crashed it.

She was very agitated, he said.

Another witness said she saw Silva come back to the campground after crashing the car, looking for her girlfriend and the dog. 

The witness said she found the girlfriend hiding in the bushes and she was “shaking from fear,” and the girlfriend told her, “Please don’t let her find me or she will kill me.”

Silva refused to talk to a deputy called to the scene or give her name. She was later identified by the license plate number of the car and her driver’s license photo.

A deputy found a black-and-gray Glock pistol during a search of the car.

In a follow-up interview with the victim, the woman claimed she and Silva had been traveling to Michigan from Washington but once they crossed the border into Idaho, Silva began going through the victim’s phone while they were stopped at a gas station.

Silva then allegedly said they were going back to Washington. She then took the victim’s phone, identification, money and credit cards, the victim said, and repeatedly assaulted her over the next two weeks.

During a subsequent stay at a hotel in Ellensburg, the victim said Silva punched her in the head and told her new name “was Lucky, like a dog, and forced her to lay under a desk in the corner of the room while Silva packed,” according to court documents.

When the pair stopped at a trailhead along Interstate 90, the victim claimed Silva put a gun in her face and told her she was going to kill her.

The victim told the deputy that Silva “wanted to cut me and hang me upside down from a tree and let all my insides come out so the bears can eat me.”

The woman said Silva also threatened to make her watch as she killed their dog.

The victim also said she was assaulted with the gun and made to beg for her life.

At a stop at Sahara Creek DNR Horse Camp in Pierce County, the victim said they again got into an argument while camping and Silva was afraid someone would call police so they packed up their campsite and left.

The victim told police she left a note behind at the campsite with her name on it that said, “Please help me call cops.”

Workers from the Department of Natural Resources later found the note and put a post on Facebook that asked campers to be on the lookout for two women who had been at the horse camp.

The post on social media included a photo of the note, and said two women had been seen in an altercation at the camp and one of the women had been grabbing the other by the hair and arm, and was chasing her around.

During a stop at another remote location, the victim said Silva again assaulted her after they pulled over. She began hitting her and then bit her on the face, then took a safety pin and stuck it in the victim’s neck, allegedly saying, “This is your jugular. If I stab you there you’ll bleed out. I’ll just throw you out the car into the river or whatever.”

A deputy found a bite mark on the woman’s face below her right ear.

The victim said Silva also wrapped a dog leash around her neck and when the victim tried to stop her from strangling her, Silva bit her on the left arm.

The deputy also found a bite mark on the victim’s arm.

The victim told police she tried to jump out of the car but was stopped when Silva grabbed her by the hair. She also said she texted her best friend June 30 and said she was going to try to escape: “I am going to make a run for it to police as soon as the times right. Please please don’t text back to this message is she knows she’ll kill me (sic) ... please whatever you do don’t text back I love you buddy and my mom and dad and the baby.”

Police contacted the friend, who said she had contacted the Adrian Police Department, which opened a missing person case after being contacted by the victim’s brother.

An investigation into the use of the victim’s credit card showed they had stopped in Winthrop on June 20, followed by Post Falls, Idaho, then Moses Lake, Ellensburg, Tacoma and Eatonville the next day. The credit card was also used June 24 in Tacoma; June 26 in Eatonville;
June 27 in Puyallup; June 28 in Sequim; and from June 30 through July 1 in Forks.

Silva made her first court appearance last week in Jefferson County Superior Court.

Silva is being held in Jefferson County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Her arraignment on the two felony charges has been set for Friday, July 16.

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