Lacking Salt Lake Metropolis girl’s physique present in Tooele, ex-boyfriend arrested on suspicion of homicide
Brandon Scott Zipperle, 28, of Salt Lake City, was booked into the Tooele County Detention Center on Tuesday to investigate the murder of 23-year-old Brooklyn Elise Odland Tyree. (Tooele County)
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TOOELE — A Salt Lake City woman who had been missing for a week was found dead in Tooele County on Friday, and now her ex-boyfriend and fiancé are in jail.
Brandon Scott Zipperle, 28, of Salt Lake City, was booked into the Tooele County Detention Center on Tuesday to investigate the murder of 23-year-old Brooklyn Elise Odland Tyree. He was also arrested for investigations into two cases of obstruction of justice. Elizabeth Ludwig, 28, was also arrested on an investigation into obstruction of justice.
Tyree’s disappearance and death also prompted an angry letter from former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, a friend of Tyree’s family, who severely criticized the Salt Lake City Police Department for allegedly not taking the case seriously.
“I am writing as a friend and personal advocate … regarding the Salt Lake City Police Department’s outrageous failure and refusal to investigate Brook’s disappearance, and the incredibly rude, indifferent and disparaging behavior of law enforcement officers towards these friends and family members. ‘ Anderson explained in his letter to Chief Mike Brown and Mayor Erin Mendenhall. The letter, dated Sunday and delivered Monday, was released to the media on Tuesday after it was confirmed Tyree had been shot.
According to the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office, Tyree’s body was found Friday in the Five Mile Pass recreation area partially covered by a sleeping bag hidden in sagebrush. Her body was found by a father and his son who were recovering in the area. Her body was not immediately identified. According to a police affidavit, an autopsy on Monday found Tyree had been shot.
Tyree was last seen on May 3rd. She and her 7-month-old boy, Braxton Tyree, were picked up by Zipperle at Tyree’s home, according to a police affidavit. Zipperle is also Braxton’s father.
“Brooklyn was supposed to be heading into the Tooele area earlier in the week to visit some friends and has not been heard from since. The family reported they were last seen by Brandon Zipperle,” the sheriff’s office said in a prepared statement. “Investigators requested historical location data from both Brandon’s and the victim’s phones, (and) the data showed both phones were in the Five Mile Pass area on May 3.”
On the same day that Tyree’s body was found, Salt Lake police had called the sheriff’s office with video evidence they received that showed “Zipperle picked up Brooklyn earlier in the week.” The clothing Brooklyn wore in the video was identical to the clothing on our victims, making it obvious our victim was Brooklyn,” the sheriff’s office said.
Braxton was safely found at Zipperle’s before Tyree’s body was found.
Zipperle was on probation at the time of Tyree’s death. As he walked into his previously scheduled meeting with Adult Probation and Parole on Tuesday, he was taken into custody by deputies who were waiting for him and then taken to the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office for questioning.
“During the interview, Brandon admitted to shooting the victim, hiding the victim’s body, and disposing of the victim’s personal belongings,” the sheriff’s office said.
The affidavit further states that Zipperle planned to flee to Kentucky.
A search warrant was served at Zipperle, where a shoe was found with a tread pattern resembling shoeprints found at the crime scene. According to a statement, this shoe belonged to Ludwig, Zipperle’s fiancé.
“Elizabeth admitted to helping Brandon hide the victim’s body and dispose of the victim’s personal belongings,” the sheriff’s office said.
Before announcing Tuesday that Zipperle had been arrested and Tyree’s body found in Tooele County, Anderson sent a letter to Salt Lake City urging police to take Tyree’s disappearance seriously. Not only did Zipperle have a violent past — he was convicted of attempted theft in January and grievous bodily harm in December for shooting someone at a campground — he also sent bizarre messages to Tyree’s family members, who even spoke to him on the phone Zipperle recorded she was missing, Anderson said.
“Although members of Brooks’ family told police officers they had text messages from Brandon with completely conflicting, dishonest accounts about Brook and Braxton, police never showed any interest in the text messages, and never even asked about them. That was characteristic of the police officers’ indifference attitude until after Brooks’ family members and friends put up flyers with the police officers on the evening of Sunday 8 Anderson explained in his letter.
On May 6, Zipperle sent a message to Tyree’s family stating, “She was tired of having her family and taking care of Braxton, she left them with me and you will never see my son again.” like Anderson. When the family then asked where Brook was, Zipperle replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
Anderson claims the first officers Tyree’s family spoke to “basically blew them away” and were “not interested in an investigation” and “didn’t think Brook and her family were worth his trouble or the trouble of the SLCPD.”
The Salt Lake City Police Department released a prepared statement Tuesday night, seemingly in response to Anderson’s letter.
“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 that our investigation into the missing person’s case was professional, respectful, thorough and in line with the expectations of our community, we will fully review the steps taken by our department. We welcome and are fully cooperating with the Salt Lake City Police Department Civilian Review Board on any inquiries they may have under the instructions of the Mayor for this independent body to review these allegations.
“The Salt Lake City Police Department knows our community wants more answers on how this case is being handled. Those answers will come through the appropriate investigative mechanisms,” the statement continued.
Police say they first received a missing person report on Tyree on May 5, but at the time there was no indication she was in danger. On Monday, her disappearance was ruled “suspicious” and her information was entered into the National Crime Information Center, a national database designed to help locate missing persons.
Meanwhile, as confirmation of Tyree’s death spread, condolences and tributes have been posted on social media.
“I dont know what to think. You were one of the greatest friends anyone could ever have, no matter what struggles we had, you were always like a sister to me through it all. You don’t deserve this and I will make sure the world remembers you forever. Love you so much Brooklyn Tyree you will be missed by everyone including me,” one person wrote.
“You do not deserve that. ANY OF THIS. You were always the sweetest to every person, no matter what you’ve been through. You didn’t have bad bones in your body. You deserve the world and so does your baby! ” wrote another woman.
Pat Reavy is a police and court reporter for KSL.com.