TOOELE, Utah (ABC4) – It was a week ago when the family of Brooklyn Tyree noticed she was missing.
And soon they realized it wasn’t going to end well.
Tuesday, their suspicions were confirmed when Tooele County authorities confirmed her body was found in a remote area near 5-mile pass. She had been shot once in the head.
Her former boyfriend, Brandon Zipperle was arrested and suspected of murdering her. A second person, Elizabeth Ludwig, was also arrested for obstruction of justice.
“He confessed,” said Tooele County Sheriff Paul Wimmer. “They both confessed.”
The sheriff said it is unclear what the motive was.
Her family was notified and Rocky Anderson, a former attorney, said Tyree’s sister was shell shocked.
“I talked with her sister today, just devastated, bawling her eyes out,” Anderson said. “It’s so bad, so tragic.”
Her sister, Deanna Tyree said the relationship had soured.
“She feared for her and her baby’s life,” the sister said in a text to ABC4.
Anderson said Tyree was making it on her own.
“Brooklyn had lived on the streets at one time in her life but she was turning her life around,” said Anderson.
“She was working, she had an apartment. She was a great mother to this baby.”
It all began one week ago when her mother noticed Tyree was missing and wasn’t returning calls. Thursday, she went to her daughter’s apartment and found it in disarray, according to Anderson. Both mother and baby were gone.
A missing persons report was filed, but the family claimed there was no investigation done.
That’s when they turned to Anderson for help.
“It appeared that there was real reason to believe that Brooklyn had been kidnapped and murdered,” Anderson said.
So they turned to social media and posted a missing persons bulletin for Tyree and her baby.
A picture of her former boyfriend Brandon Zipperle was also placed on the bulletin.
Late Friday night, a father and son found a red sleeping bag near 5-mile pass and found a body inside.
Sheriff Wimmer said there was no identification on the body and had to rely on the medical examiner to help identify her.
“But we had our suspicions,” said the sheriff. “We were able to get with Salt Lake City (police) and compare notes.”
He said their detectives were notified by Salt Lake City Police about the possibility that the couple may be in the area.
“We got a welfare check (from Salt Lake Police) that Tyree was overdue and no one had heard from her. The last they knew she was with Brandon and they often were known to camp out in the west desert.”
When the medical examiner confirmed her identity, they were able to obtain surveillance video from Tyree’s apartment.
“She was seen leaving the apartment with Brandon,” said Sheriff Wimmer. “It’s unclear if the baby was with them.”
Anderson said the family knew Zipperle was hiding something from the very beginning. He said through Facebook’s messenger he denied knowledge of her whereabouts.
“Later he said to tell the truth, she came by my place and said, she ‘had it being a mother and being in the family and she is taking off and left the baby with me,” Anderson said. “That’s just preposterous.”
Deputy county attorney Gary Searle said they were able to name Zipperle as a suspect because “of their clumsy work.”
He wouldn’t elaborate on what that was.
28-year-old Ludwig was arrested for obstruction of justice. The sheriff said Ludwig helped move the body from where Tyree was shot.
Baby Braxton is now in the custody of Brooklyn’s sister. A Gofundme account has been set up to help the family with seeking justice for Brooklyn
Late Tuesday, a spokesman for Salt Lake City police responded to their involvement in the case. The following is their statement:
The Salt Lake City Police Department takes all community complaints seriously. This is a tragic case and our condolences go out to the family and friends of Brooklyn Tyree.
To ensure our investigation into the missing person’s case was professional, respectful, thorough, and in line with our community’s expectations, we will comprehensively review the steps taken by our department. We welcome and will fully cooperate with the Salt Lake City Police Civilian Review Board with any requests they have pursuant to the Mayor’s direction for this independent body to review these allegations.
The Salt Lake City Police Department is fully cooperating with the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office on their suspicious death investigation.
This remains an ongoing investigation on multiple fronts. The Salt Lake City Police Department knows our community wants more answers about the handling of this case. Those answers will come through the appropriate investigative mechanisms in place. However, we must respect and preserve the integrity of the ongoing criminal investigation. As such, the Salt Lake City Police Department cannot release any additional information at this time aside from the timeline below:
|Thursday May 5, 2022||5:11 PM – Missing person’s case generated. This is the first report made to the SLCPD about Brooklyn Tyree.||The caller advised SLCPD that Brooklyn and her son were going to Tooele to meet up with someone on Tuesday (May 3) and hadn’t been heard from since. Because there was no information indicating a crime had been committed or that there was an immediate danger to either individual, the call was assigned as a Priority 3. A missing, at-risk person is assigned as a Priority 1.|
|Thursday May 5, 2022||Approx. 8:30 PM – SLC911 checked with Tooele County to see if they have any information on Brooklyn. Tooele Co. advised there were no recent reports. They further advised there wasn’t enough information to do an Attempt to Locate. SLC911 & SLCPD also checked a local hospital in Tooele Co. to see if Brooklyn was admitted. SLC911 & SLCPD checked four other local hospitals to see if Brooklyn was admitted.|
|Thursday May 5, 2022||8:45 PM – SLC911 advised the original complainant that an officer had been assigned the case and would be out to Brooklyn’s residence as soon as possible.|
|Thursday May 5, 2022||9:27 PM – The initial patrol officer arrived at Brooklyn’s apartment complex to meet with multiple family members and to gain an understanding of the situation. The officer had already been assigned the case prior to arrival and investigative steps were already taken as described above.||After meeting with family members and further investigation, there was no articulable qualification, at the time, which met the department’s criteria for a missing persons entry in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The police report was generated and reviewed by a supervisor. Additionally, the initial officer checked common places in the city for Brooklyn’s whereabouts.|
|Friday May 6, 2022||An SLCPD officer met with a family member of Brooklyn’s who provided additional information. This information was documented by the officer and the officer contacted Tooele County to help further the investigation in locating Brooklyn.|
|May 8 – May 9, 2022||Officers with the SLCPD continued their investigation into the case and continued to speak with individuals who could assist with the missing person’s case.|
|May 9, 2022||As the investigation progressed, and as additional information was obtained, Brooklyn was listed in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) because the disappearance was now considered suspicious in nature.|
|May 9, 2022||SLCPD detectives continued with their investigation and the SLCPD Crime Lab assisted with the case, which included collecting evidence.|
|May 9, 2022||The SLCPD Public Relations Unit is contacted by KUTV asking if the department could confirm a missing person’s report was made. The SLCPD confirmed a report had been made.|
|May 10, 2022||The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the SLCPD that Brooklyn’s body was located in a rural area under suspicious circumstances. The SLCPD is fully cooperating with Tooele County on the death investigation.|
Body-worn camera video from this case is not being released as this remains an active investigation.
No further information can be released at this time.