TOOELE, Utah, May 10, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 28-year-old man was arrested Tuesday for investigation of murder after police say he admitted to shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend and later disposing of her body in a remote area of Tooele County.
The body of Brooklyn Tyree, 23, of Salt Lake City, was found by a recreationist Friday on the Tooele County side of Five Mile Pass Recreation Area, along with “evidence of foul play,” according to a news release from the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office.
Tooele County deputies worked with Salt Lake City police to identify Brandon Zipperle, 28, as a suspect in Tyree’s death. Police say Zipperle is the father of Tyree’s infant son.
During an interview with deputies Tuesday, Zipperle “admitted to shooting the victim, hiding the victim’s body, pawning the firearm used in the murder, and disposing of the victim’s personal belongings,” according to a probable cause statement filed in Tooele County’s 3rd District Court.
The arresting deputy noted that Zipperle’s admissions were “factually corroborated by the physical evidence recovered at the scene,” court documents state.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Tyree’s family with funeral costs and to “pursue justice for Brook.”
Meanwhile, Salt Lake City police’s response to reports that Tyree was missing is being criticized by former Mayor Rocky Anderson, who has called for Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Chief Mike Brown and “other police officers who blew off [Tyree’s] family” to be fired.
In an email to Gephardt Daily, Anderson said police “ignored” and “demeaned” Tyree’s family when they reported her missing, and “refused to investigate.”
“They have made this far more tragic and difficult for Brook’s family,” he said.
In a letter sent to Mendenhall and Brown on Monday, Anderson calls the response by Salt Lake City police an “outrageous failure,” specifically citing “the incredibly rude, indifferent, and dismissive conduct of police officers” toward Tyree’s friends and family members.
Anderson said family members presented Salt Lake City police with “very troubling information about Brook’s disappearance,” including her 7-month-old son suddenly being in the custody of the biological father, Zipperle, and the man’s “extensive criminal history and record of violence.”
Although members of Tyree’s family told police they had text messages from Zipperle “with entirely inconsistent, dishonest accounts” about the whereabouts of Tyree and their child, “the police never showed any interest whatsoever in the text messages and never even asked for them,” the letter states.
Prior to Tyree’s body being discovered, the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Salt Lake City police about a missing woman who had been known to camp in the Five Mile Pass area, according to court documents.
“[Tyree] was supposed to be headed to the Tooele area to see some friends earlier in the week and had not been heard from since,” the release from the sheriff’s office states. “Family reported that she was last seen by Brandon Zipperle.”
Tooele County deputies were not able to confirm the identity of the woman’s body until Monday, when Salt Lake City police provided video footage of Zipperle picking up Tyree and their son, court documents state. The clothes Tyree was wearing in the video matched those the victim was wearing, according to the sheriff’s office.
Locational data from Zipperle’s and Tyree’s phones indicated both were in the area of Five Mile Pass on May 3, court documents state.
Zipperle was scheduled to check in with Adult Probation and Parole in Provo on Tuesday morning, according to the probable cause statement.
Tooele County deputies met Zipperle there and transported him to Tooele, where he was interviewed and later booked into the Tooele County Jail. He is being held without bail.
Zipperle’s fiancee, Elizabeth Ludwig, 28, was also arrested Tuesday in connection with Tyree’s death.
“During a search warrant served at Brandon’s residence, a shoe belonging to Elizabeth had a tread pattern similar to a footprint found at the crime scene,” the sheriff’s office stated in a news release.
Ludwig was booked into the Tooele County Jail for investigation of obstruction of justice.