PAYSON — A Spanish Fork man who allegedly told police he wanted to watch someone die was arrested after investigators say he helped a 16-year-old girl kill herself and filmed the incident.
Tyerell Przybycien, 18, was booked into the Utah County Jail Saturday for investigation of murder and reckless endangerment.
About 7:30 a.m. Saturday, a turkey hunter found a girl hanging from a rope in a tree near Maple Lake, according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court. Near the body were two plastic grocery bags and a can of industrial strength air duster.
In one bag was a handwritten note identifying the girl, and a cellphone. There was also a receipt in the bag for the purchase of a rope with Przybycien's name on the credit card information, the affidavit states.
The note also said that "if there were any questions to watch the video."
"You can clearly see the victim (in the video) with a noose around her neck while standing on a rock," the investigating officer wrote after charging the phone and watching the recording on it. "Przybycien is heard asking the juvenile to say something. The female victim then inhales a large dose of the industrial strength air duster and loses consciousness.
- Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
- Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
- Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386
"Przybycien then continues to film this incident on camera for approximately 10 to 11 minutes. Przybycien never offers assistance at anytime, and can be heard asking her to move or say something."
Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said the two can be heard talking to each other as they made preparations.
"They're talking about what they're doing. 'Is this what you want to do?' But he's not telling her not to. He's not telling her, 'I'm not going to let you do this.' There's nothing said that indicates he's trying to stop it," Cannon said.
After the girl passed out, she fell off the rock she was standing on, Cannon said.
The girl had been reported missing by the Spanish Fork Police Department that morning. Cannon said she and Przybycien were friends. They had been at a store together purchasing the supplies found at the scene.
The girl has struggled with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide in the past, the sergeant said. Investigators do not believe Przybycien encouraged her to kill herself.
Warning signs of suicide
- Talking about wanting to die
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
"Don't know if he encouraged her as much as he did not actively discourage her. They talked about it. He knew what she intended to do. They went together as he purchased the items she intended to use. And he played an active role in her death," he said.
Police say Przybycien returned to the scene while officers were still there.
"He confessed to purchasing the industrial strength air duster, purchasing the rope, driving the victim up to the location, helping tie the noose, and filming the incident which resulted in the death of the victim and taking no action to stop it or render aid," the affidavit states. "Przybycien also stated that he, too, was suicidal and wanted to watch the victim die to see if it was something he could go through with himself. During questioning, Przybycien also expressed feeling that he was responsible for her death and that she would still be here if he hadn’t helped her."
Cannon said investigators do not believe Przybycien physically forced the girl to put a rope around her neck or inhale the air cleaner. When asked if this was supposed to be a suicide pact, Cannon said there "may have been some consideration of that."
The Utah Department of Health says suicide prevention help can be found at utahsuicideprevention.org/suicide-prevention-basic, and the national crisis hotline is 1-800-784-2433.
What to do if you see warning signs of suicide
- Do not leave the person alone
- Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional