7/22/2014

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Tacoma teen charged with murder in death of father

Tacoma teen charged with murder in death of father
Rylan Salzman appears at his arraignment on June 13, 2014.
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TACOMA, Wash. -- A 16-year-old Tacoma boy accused of killing his father with a cane and then hiding the body in a backyard compost bin pleaded not guilty Friday to a second-degree murder charge.

A judge accepted the plea and ordered Rylan Salzman held on $1 million bail. KOMO News typically doesn't name juveniles charged in a crime, but does so in cases where they are charged as an adult.

Rylan Salzman was arrested Tuesday after calling 911 to confess to killing his 49-year-old father Richard Salzman and burying him in the backyard, prosecutors said. KOMO News typically doesn't name juveniles charged in a crime, but does so in cases where they are charged as an adult.

The father was last heard from on Friday night and was reported missing Saturday by his wife. Officers searched the backyard in the 1900 block of South Madison Street and found Richard Salzman's body in a compost bin partially covered with dirt, cat litter and oil, court documents said.

"This is a strange case of patricide," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "The motives are still being investigated."

Investigators say the boy's parents, Richard and Louise, were arguing on the phone Friday night. Richard, who had been drinking, was home alone with his son and Louise was spending the night at a family member's house, prosecutors say.

Rylan called his mom later that night saying his dad went for a bike ride, but it was the last time Richard was seen. Louise filed a missing person's report Saturday.

By Tuesday, as Louise Salzman was set to organize a search party, Rylan begged her not to call police, then eventually confessed to killing his dad, prosecutors said.

He allegedly told Louise he had overheard the argument Friday night and later confronted Richard about it. He said Richard became very upset and pushed him to the ground, at which point the boy said he picked up a cane and hit Richard in the head, killing him.

When his mother asked where the body was, the teen allegedly said "he's here." He then called police and confessed to the killing, prosecutors say.
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