SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah teenager was arrested for investigation of murder after using cellphone video to record the death of a 16-year-old girl found hanged from a tree, authorities said Tuesday.
Tyerell Joe Przybycien, 18, approached deputies Saturday evening at the scene in Payson Canyon and acknowledged that he had been there when the girl died, Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.
Przybycien, of Spanish Fork, bought the items the girl used, including a rope, "and he stood there while she hanged to death," Cannon said.
Assisted suicide is not legal in Utah, Cannon said, and county prosecutors were reviewing the case to determine whether Przybycien should face murder, manslaughter or other charges.
Przybycien told deputies he had a fascination with death and that he had wanted to see what it was like to see someone die, Cannon said.
The girl, also from Spanish Fork, didn't return home from work Friday, and her mother reported her missing Saturday morning, Cannon said.
Przybycien and the girl were friends, and a police affidavit stated that a handwritten note identified the girl and said questions would be answered by watching the video.
Cannon said Przybycien made no effort to help the girl after she became unconscious.
The girl's name wasn't immediately made public. Cannon said investigators believe she struggled with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide in the past, and do not think Przybycien encouraged her to kill herself.
But he did not discourage her, the sergeant said. "They talked about it. He knew what she intended to do. And he played an active role in her death."
Przybycien was held on $20,000 bail pending an initial court appearance. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.