Pierce County prosecutors have charged a 16-year-old Tacoma boy with second-degree murder in the beating death of his father, whose body was found in a wooden box on the family’s property.
Rylan Salzman, who has been charged as an adult, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Superior Court on Friday afternoon. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $1 million.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said it is a “strange case of patricide” and the motive remains unknown.
Salzman called police Tuesday and told 911 operators that he’d killed his father and buried him in the backyard at the family’s home in the 1900 block of South Madison Avenue.
Detectives found the body of Richard Salzman, 49, in a wooden composting box by the garage. Also inside the box were a cut-up bicycle, oil, kitty litter and dirt.
Richard Salzman’s wife reported him missing Saturday. Her son allegedly told her Richard Salzman had ridden away on a bicycle shortly after midnight Saturday.
The teen confessed what he’d done after his mother pressed the idea of organizing a search party to find her husband.
Police said Rylan Salzman overheard his parents arguing on the phone late Friday and confronted his father after he hung up. After his father allegedly shoved him to the ground, Rylan Salzman used a cane to repeatedly hit his father in the head, according to charging papers.
The Medical Examiner’s Office said Richard Salzman was beaten so badly they had to use dental records to identify him.