Marysville man suspected in two fires

A Marysville man who had been under investigation for burning a woman in Lynnwood now is the subject of a Lewis County sheriff’s probe into an arson June 27 near Winlock in southwest Washington, police said Wednesday.

Exactly how the woman was burned is unclear, Lynnwood Cmdr. Steve Rider said. But she and Myong Sik Paek, 33, now are under investigation for the arson at the southwest Washington house he owned, Rider said.

Paek was held in the Snohomish County Jail until late Tuesday, when Lewis County deputies arrived to arrest him for investigation of arson.

Over the weekend, Lynnwood police jailed Paek for first-degree assault of the woman after an investigation stalled, numerous witnesses refused to speak to detectives, and there were no answers as to how she was severely burned over 30 percent of her body.

“We had probable cause to believe he committed the crime against her,” Rider said. “We didn’t stop there. We continued to investigate, and once we gathered the added information, we called Lewis County and learned they were investigating the arson.”

Rider said he’s not certain whether the woman is Paek’s wife or girlfriend.

Officials said Paek and his family members own several rental homes, including the one in Winlock. It was unclear why the house was burned.

After the woman was injured, Paek drove her to Stevens Hospital in Edmonds instead of seeking medical attention for her in Lewis County.

He admitted her to the hospital under a false name, then traveled to Eastern Washington for a few days, according to court documents.

He and family members told various stories about how the woman was burned, including that a 3-year-old child pitched a container of paint thinner into a stove and the woman was injured lighting a gas fireplace. Fire officials could find no sign of a blaze at the house in Lynnwood where they had been told she was injured.

The connection with the fire in Lewis County was established when family members came forward, Rider said.

The woman suffered second- and third-degree burns to her face, arms, abdomen, thighs, upper legs and calves, documents say. She’s now at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and may have to remain there for a month or two, court papers say.

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or

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