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A teen has been booked into Utah County jail on suspicion of murder after police say he filmed the death of a girl found hanged in Payson Canyon over the weekend.
Tyerell Joe Przybycien, 18, was arrested after deputies found evidence he'd been involved in a 16-year-old Spanish Fork girl's death, said Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
The girl apparently left work about 7 p.m. Friday, Cannon said, and her mother hadn't heard from her all night. The mother reported the girl missing early Saturday morning, Cannon said.
Turkey hunters reported finding a body hanging from a tree near Maple Lake Campground just after 7 a.m. Saturday, Cannon said, and deputies identified the girl.
Przybycien approached the officers at the scene and told them he had known the girl and had been with her when she died, Cannon said.
The girl called Przybycien Friday night, he allegedly told police, and he'd picked her up. Together, they had purchased several items used to facilitate her death including the rope and a can of compressed air, often used for cleaning keyboards, Cannon said. Przybycien said he then drove them to the canyon where she died.
There's "no question" the girl was suicidal, Cannon said.
Evidence at the scene included a cellphone recording, allegedly filmed by Przybycien, of the girl as she died, Cannon said. The video shows the girl with the rope tied around her neck, standing on a rock, Cannon said. She holds the canister up to her mouth, appears to take a deep breath and appears to go unconscious, falling off the rock.
The recording continues after she falls, Cannon said, and Przybycien tries to talk to the girl, who is unresponsive. The video shows Przybycien approach her and check her pulse, Cannon said, but he "makes zero effort to help her after she's passed out."
Przybycien asks the girl if this is what she really wants to do, Cannon said, but he "does nothing to discourage her from doing it" or "to prevent it."
The man told deputies he has a "fascination with death" and that he "wanted to see what it was like to see someone die," Cannon said. Przybycien allegedly told police he was suicidal.
Deputies found a short handwritten note at the scene, "basically saying if there are questions about what happened, then watch the video," Cannon said.
"Based on the actions of the 18-year-old male, along with evidence collected, it was determined [that] he played an active role in the death of the 16-year-old female and was subsequently arrested and booked into the Utah County jail," said a news release from the sheriff's office.
Przybycien is being held in lieu of $20,000 cash-only bail. Police are continuing their investigation into the incident and have not released the girl's name.
Nebo School District spokeswoman Lana Hiskey confirmed that Przybycien graduated early from Spanish Fork High School on March 16. Przybycien had recently been awarded a scholarship for the automotive technology program at Mountainland Applied Technology College, according to the district's website.
People who have suicidal thoughts can call 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or visit the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition's website for help.