After Walter Brantzeg attacked his wife and teenage daughter early Wednesday morning with a crowbar, Utah police say, the 54-year-old drove away and started calling local journalists.
He called Fox13 in Salt Lake City, and told a news manager that a custody dispute pushed him to attack his wife and 13-year-old child inside their apartment in Millcreek, the TV station reported. Brantzeg eventually said police found him and stopped the phone call.
Police say Brantzeg also contacted other TV stations shortly after the deadly assault, according to The Deseret News, and the journalists at those organizations alerted authorities to the chilling confession.
When police arrived at the apartment, they found the man’s estranged wife — whom police are not yet identifying — with injuries from the crowbar, according to The Deseret News. Police say the woman died from her injuries as she was treated on the scene in an ambulance.
Her teen daughter had also been injured in the head, police say, and she is in critical condition at Primary Children’s Hospital, according to KJZZ.
It was early Wednesday morning when police say a woman’s screaming was heard by neighbors, according to KJZZ.
Authorities first received a call about the ordeal around 7:30 a.m., according to Fox13.
Sgt. Melody Gray with Unified Police Department said in an interview with KJZZ that Brantzeg “bludgeoned (his wife) to death” as they argued over custody of their child.
Court records indicate that on July 31, Brantzeg’s wife filed for temporary separation, as reported by The Deseret News.
Brantzeg had previously been charged with sex abuse of a child in 1984 and three different counts of assault in 1989, 1994 and 2003, KJZZ reported.