Bail set at $400K for double-homicide person of interest arrested in Grand County
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to detail the correct felony charge and remove inaccurate information about extradition.
Deputies from Grand County Sheriff’s Office arrested a person of interest in a double-homicide that occurred in Spanish Fork, Utah, on Tuesday night.
A news release from the Spanish Fork Police Department states one of the victim’s phones pinged in Steamboat Springs around 5 p.m. on March 14. Because police thought the son of the deceased and person of interest, Tryston Robert Erickson, had allegedly taken one of the victims’ cars, it was suspected that the phone may be in the car with him.
The victims have been identified as Timothy Parker, 58, and his wife Jeannie Parker, age 50. Jeannie is Erickson’s mother and Timothy is his step-father. The two were found deceased in their home on March 14 after a welfare check was called in because one of the victims did not show up to work for two days. The victims both sustained gunshot wounds, according to a press release from Spanish Fork police.
Spanish Fork Police contacted the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and provided a vehicle description after the phone pinged in the area. Deputies located the car in Kremmling and attempted a traffic stop, but the news release states a pursuit ensued.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the pursuit started at approximately milepost 203 on U.S. 40 near Hot Sulphur Springs, and ended with a deputy executing a tactical vehicle intervention on County Road 8 and U.S. 40 in Fraser.
Granby and Fraser Winter Park police departments assisted the sheriff’s office with traffic control and other logistical needs.
Deputies eventually made contact with Erickson, who identified himself and was taken into custody. He is now being held in the Grand County jail. He is facing charges in Grand County for vehicular eluding, which is a Class 5 felony, and a Class 6 felony for aggravated motor vehicle theft, along with other unspecified misdemeanors, according to Erin Opsahl, a spokesperson for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
Lieutenant Cory Slaymaker of the Spanish Fork Police Department wrote in an email to Sky-Hi News that Spanish Fork officers are now in Colorado to interview Erickson and work with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office on his extradition.
On March 16, Erickson attended his arraignment in the the 14th Judicial District Court. During the hearing, Chief Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Dowdell requested that the court set Erickson’s bond at $400,000 cash or surety. She requested this high amount because Erickson poses a “flight risk” and a “community safety risk.” She added that he has a long criminal history, dating back to 2015 in Utah. He has been convicted of felonies in his home state.
“He is the key suspect in the murdering of his mother and stepfather in a very brutal fashion,” Dowdell said at the arraignment.
Dowdell then outlined Erickson’s crimes in Grand County. When Grand County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to contact Erickson, he led them on a high speed chase from the west end to the east end of the county.
“This is probably the most aggravated case of vehicular eluding that Grand County has seen,” said Dowdell.
Erickson began the chase by accelerating to 84 mph in a 65-mph zone in Hot Sulphur Springs. He then sped through the town of Granby, going 60 mph in a 30-mph zone. He swerved around law enforcement’s stop sticks, passed in a no passing zone, and nearly caused head-on collisions, according to an arrest affidavit.
He left the town of Granby, going eastbound at 80 mph in a 60-mph zone and “causing cars to ditch off the side of the road to avoid him,” Dowdell said.
Entering Tabernash, officials say that Erickson continued to speed at 80 mph in a 40-mph zone. He avoided more stop sticks, once again driving into oncoming traffic. In Fraser, law enforcement initiated a tactical vehicle intervention – crashing their vehicle into Erickson’s – finally stopping the chase.
Deputies say when they took Erickson into custody, he possessed a concealed handgun on his person, as well as two other guns in the car. The car was also identified as his deceased mother’s, Dowdell said.
Because of the egregious nature of Erickson’s actions in Grand County, as well as his previous convictions, Dowdell emphasized that the man poses a safety risk. In addition, he has no family, resources or connections to Grand County. Erickson’s public defender requested a bail reasonable to a Class 5 felony. Judge Schnieder stated that she felt a Class 5 felony bond was not appropriate and set the bond at $400k cash or surety.
He is scheduled to appear in Grand County Court on March 21 at 1 p.m.
This story contains reporting from Kyle McCabe and Meg Soyars.
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