A 16-year-old Tacoma boy who authorities say killed his father and then covered the body with oil, dirt and cat litter has been charged with second-degree murder.
According to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, Rylan Salzman, 16, and his father Richard Salzman, 49, had been drinking at the family home on June 6 while the boy’s mother was attending a party. Rylan’s mother called her husband and the two got into a fight, prompting Rylan to attack his father, prosecutors said.
The teen “picked up a cane and hit the victim in the head with it several times, killing him. The defendant dragged his father’s body to a wooden storage box in the family’s yard and put him inside,” according to a news release from the prosecutor’s office. The teen then covered his father’s body with cat litter, oil and dirt, and also put the cane, a flashlight and a bicycle in the box, prosecutors said.
The teen called his mother and told her that his father had left the house on his bicycle. Rylan then drove to the party his mother was attending and brought her home, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Rylan’s mother reported her husband missing the following day. Her son told her not to make any more phone calls or have anyone over to the house, prosecutors said.
On Tuesday, when the woman told her son she was going to use a search-and-rescue team to search for her husband, he told her what he had done, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“His mother told him he needed to call the police, so the defendant dialed 911 and confessed,” the prosecutor’s office said in the news release.
The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Richard Salzman died of blunt-force trauma to the head.
“This is a strange case of patricide,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in the news release. “The motives are still being investigated.”