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Utah man calls local news; confesses to killing estranged wife

Posted at 9:55 AM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 09:55:49-04

MILLCREEK, Utah - Authorities say a custody dispute escalated to a 54-year-old man murdering his estranged wife and critically injuring their teenage daughter Wednesday morning.

Walter Brantzeg surrendered to detectives after leaving the scene of the assault and calling several media outlets, including KSTU. Brantzeg's call to KSTU was placed shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Booking photo of Walter Eugene Brantzeg

In a conversation with one of KSTU's news managers, Brantzeg confessed to killing his estranged wife, 50-year-old Valerie Brantzeg, over a custody dispute. Brantzeg also explained how he tried to kill his 13-year-old daughter. The call ended when Brantzeg told the KSTU employee that police had arrived to arrest him.

Police said they first received 911 calls about the incident around 7:30 a.m. and paramedics arrived to find Valerie Brantzeg dead and her teenage daughter in critical condition.

Police say Walter Brantzeg came to the home and attacked the victims while wielding a crowbar.

"When officers arrived they did find this female deceased," Gray said. "She had been bludgeoned, it appears with a crowbar. In addition to that, a 13-year-old daughter was also injured with that same weapon. She has been taken to Primary Children's Hospital and is currently in critical condition."