Four days after beating his father to death and hiding his body in a box, prosecutors allege, a Tacoma, Washington, teenager called 911 to make a chilling confession.
“I’m calling to confess a killing,” Rylan Salzman, 16, said, phoning from home with a calm, emotionless voice, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors say the teen had been home the night of June 6, drinking with his father, Richard Salzman, 49, when he overheard his father’s end of an argument over the phone with his mother.
Rylan and his father then began to fight and, police say, the teen grabbed a cane and beat his father across his head several times, eventually killing him.
During the 911 call in which he allegedly said he had hidden his dad’s body, Rylan said he and his father had a “conflicted past,” adding that the argument sent him over the edge, prosecutors say.
After the alleged incident, prosecutors say, Rylan told them that he dragged his father’s body to a wooden storage box in the backyard. They say Rylan then covered the body with cat litter, oil and dirt to mask the smell, and then put the cane, a flashlight and a bicycle in the box as well.
After hiding the body, prosecutors allege, Rylan called his mother and told her his father had left the house on a bicycle to go pick her up from another location.
“This is a strange case of patricide,” Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “We may never know the motive, but we have all we need to prove the case, including a confession.”
Rylan’s mother filed a missing person’s report a day after the alleged attack when her husband did not return home, prosecutors say. Rylan’s mother told him on June 10 that she was going to hire a search-and-rescue team, but the teen stopped her and informed her of what he had done, according to prosecutors.
After the alleged confession, the teen’s mother told him he needed to call 911 and tell the police what he had done.
Prosecutors said the beating was so severe that dental records had to be used to identify Richard after his remains were found.
Rylan, who is now being held on $1 million bail, was arraigned Friday and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges. He will make his next appearance in court Friday.