5 exploitation-of-minor charges added for Spanish Fork murder suspect accused of planning, assisting in friend’s suicide

Tyerell Przybycien. Photo: Utah County Jail

PAYSON CANYON, Utah, May 11, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The 18-year-old Spanish Fork man charged with murder and reckless endangerment in the death of a younger friend now faces five additional charges, all of sexual exploitation of a minor.

In addition, it was revealed Thursday in court documents that the murder suspect, Tyerell Przybycien, had his plan in place for more than two weeks before investigators say he help a 16-year-old friend, known in Fourth District Court documents as “J.B.,” to commit suicide.

Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon on Thursday evening confirmed to Gephardt Daily that Przybycien now faced the five new charges of sexual exploitation of a minor. Cannon said he did not know if the minor allegedly abused was J.B., also of Spanish Fork, or one or more other juveniles.

The probable cause statement released on Thursday revealed that Przybycien had a text conversation with another friend on April 18, and he referenced the upcoming death of J.B., whose body was later found hanging in Payson Canyon.

“What you do if you knew a friend was trying to commit suicide?” Przybycien texted someone he knew, according to court documents.

“Talk them out of ut (sic),” the friend answered.

“The thing is.. I wanna help kill them,” Przybycien answered, according to the probable cause statement. “It be awesome. Seriously im (sic) going to help her. Its like getting away with murder! Im so f***ed up. I’m seriously not joking. Its going down in about a week or two.”

Testimony submitted to the court by investigators says that just before midnight on May 5, Przybycien again texted his acquaintance:

“Bro It happened.. I helped her do it too and I feel so guilty.”

A turkey hunter discovered the body of J.B. on May 6, hanging from a tree in Payson Canyon, near the Maple Lake Campground. The Utah County Sheriff’s Office responded after the hunter called dispatch.

J.B. was found with her feet near a rock, with two plastic bags nearby. The bags contained some personal effects, including a note with the dead girl’s name and instructions to watch the video on a cellphone if there were any questions.

Also found was a store receipt from the purchase of a rope, with the charge card used listed as that of Przybycien, according to the probable cause statement.

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While the officer was on the scene, Przybycien returned and stated that he was there when J.B. died. He was taken to the sheriff’s office for an interview, the statement said.

The investigating officer, initially unable to play the cellphone video, charged the phone enough to view the recording. The officer reported that the video shows J.B. while still alive, with a noose around her neck, standing on a rock. Przybycien can be heard talking to the victim. A can of industrial strength air duster was resting at J.B.’s feet.

The recording showed the girl inhaling a large dose of the air duster and then losing consciousness and hanging. The recording continued for 10 or 11 minutes, the statement said. The victim died during the recording, the court document said.

The probable cause document states that Przybycien evidenced depraved indifference to human life and knowingly engaged in conduct that created a grave risk for death to another, and thereby caused the death of another.

During the interview, Przybycien confessed to purchasing the air duster and the rope, picking up J.B. and driving her to the location, helping tie the noose, telling the victim he would also kill himself, and recording the incident that resulted in the death of the victim, taking no action to stop it or render aid.

“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,” the probable cause statement says.

“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. During the interview, Przybycien also stated he was still having suicidal thoughts.”

After his interview, Przybycien was booked into the Utah County Jail, where he remains. On Thursday, his cash-only bail was raised from $20,000 to $500,000.

People considering suicide are urged to call available hotlines for crisis counseling. Options include 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) and 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). The LGBT National Hotline can be reached by calling 1-888-843-4564.

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