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UPDATED: Man charged with aggravated murder in South Hill teen’s death, pleads not guilty

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Aug. 24, 2010 at 5:46 am with 30 Comments »
August 24, 2010 4:35 pm
Tyler Savage/Courtesy of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department

Pierce County prosecutors have charged an 18-year-old man with aggravated first-degree murder – the state’s highest crime – in the strangling death of a South Hill developmentally-delayed teen whose body was found Monday night.

Investigators contend¬† Tyler Wolfgang Savage killed and then sexually assaulted Kimberly “Kimmie” Daily before her family reported her missing on Aug. 17, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. The charge of aggravated first-degree murder carries a possible death sentence, though a decision on whether to seek it against Savage has not been made.

Savage, who has no prior criminal history, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment this afternoon. Commissioner Patrick Oishi ordered Savage held without bail in Pierce County Jail.

A woman at Savage’s home declined to comment late Tuesday morning.

“You are not getting nothing,” she told a News Tribune reporter. “You just need to go.”

A neighbor of Savage’s was near tears about his arrest.

“He’s like a family member,” said Jenny Berto, 35.¬† “I accepted him into my home.”

“This is throwing me for a loop. This is so unexpected.”

Berto said Savage was known throughout the neighborhood. He enjoyed playing video games and took Berto’s son to the South Hill Mall and out for pizza.

“He’s so sweet, upbeat, funny,” Berto said. “I trust him wholeheartedly.”

Kimberly Daily/Courtesy of the PCSO

Investigators interviewed Savage on Monday and he reportedly led them to Daily’s body, which was located about 150 yards off 122nd Street East in an overgrown, vacant lot. Savage admitted he convinced Daily to cross the street, which she didn’t want to do, and led her into an isolated area.

“Savage admitted that he strangled Kimberly when she attempted to leave,” Lindquist wrote in a press release. “He also admitted to sexual contact with her. He told detectives that he carried Kimberly’s dead body toward a large thicket of blackberry bushes and brambles, dumped her body and threw her bicycle on top of her naked body.”

Charging documents state Savage removed Daily’s clothing “to make it appear to be ‘something else,’ ‘like she was raped.'”

Savage told investigators that by 4 p.m. Aug. 17, the time Daily’s family reported her missing, he was playing an online video game “in an effort to ‘forget,'” charging documents state.

Daily, who was developmentally delayed, a Special Olympics athlete and was getting ready to start her junior year at Rogers High School, was last seen the afternoon of Aug. 17. Searchers and detectives had been looking for her ever since.

Investigators were back at the lot near 122nd Street East and 115th Avenue Court East today, looking for evidence, Pierce County sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Blair said. They’ve found a backpack believed to be Daily’s and part of a cellular phone. They were still searching for the other half of the phone.

The three-acre lot used to have three houses situated on it. The houses have since been torn down, and sticker bushes and Scotch broom have taken their place.

Blair said the lot was in the area where search-and-rescue volunteers and dog teams had been searching for Daily over the past week. He wasn’t sure if the exact lot had been searched.

“I think its terrible,” said Joe Owen, 80, as he stood at his front door, located across from the lot. “A little girl got murdered and to dump her at my front door.”

Investigators also were searching Savage’s home and property today, Blair said.

Savage, who was going to be a senior at Emerald Ridge High School, and Daily were acquaintances but not close friends. He told investigators the two had known each other for more than two years, charging document state. They were also friends on Facebook.

Investigators first contacted Savage on Wednesday during a neighborhood canvass. A witness had reported seeing Savage walking with Daily the afternoon she disappeared, sheriff’s Capt. Brent Bomkamp said. Searchers also contacted Savage, who happened to be out and about during their canvass, and he, too, said he’d been with Daily but the two parted ways near his house in the 11100 bock of 122nd Street East.

Investigators interviewed Savage a second time and found inconsistencies in his statements, Bomkamp said. The detectives decided to talk to him a third time Monday. They initially asked him to show them – in person – where he’d last seen Daily.

After that, detectives took Savage to a Sheriff’s Department facility to be interviewed further.

“It was basically outstanding interviewing, interrogation that allowed us to have him eventually lead us to where he had killed her and left her,” Bomkamp said.

A Facebook page had been set up to spread the word about Daily’s disappearance. A vigil for Daily is scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight at Zeiger Elementary School.

Staff writers Adam Lynn and Steve Maynard contributed to this report.

Leave a comment Comments → 30
  1. Spartacus says:

    This absolutely disgusts me!

  2. This is so very sad, such a young vulnerable girl. My heart goes out to the family.

  3. Pawnbroker1 says:

    Tragic. I’m glad the boy is off the streets. My condolences to the family. It must be frustrating being female and realizing it just isn’t safe to go out alone. The world must look different to a 110 pound female than to a 170 man.

  4. As terrible ,as this was.
    He won`t, get the death penalty.
    Witch he deserves.

  5. adams7kids says:

    I pray justice be swift and strength and peace come to Kimmie’s father and other family in this horrific tragedy. Kimmie is now in God’s arms where no one else can hurt her.

  6. Rowdy_Rob says:

    @bs10964: He doesn’t deserve the death penalty…getting released into general population would be more fitting for this piece of (excrement).

  7. siragwatkins says:

    This is so terribly sad.
    Research suggests that exposure to violence, including violent video games, can lead to violent behavior, and our culture (especially teen culture) is obsessed with this stuff.
    So we have one dead girl, and one boy, apparently never before in trouble, who’s taken her life and ruined his.
    My heart goes out to both families.

  8. My heart and prayers go out to this precious girls family!

  9. Well, the majority in America seem to be concerned with the lives of the disabled, at least after the fact.

  10. DeptOfRevenue says:

    Vengence is mine said the Lord..and all you creeps have to learn that. You are more sickening with your blood-thirsty vengence than the actual crime.

    As I see it – it’s a karmic debt paid – you would be all better off if you just don’t past judgement and stay clear of it. And let God work out the details – this is none of your business.

  11. murphtall says:

    This is terribly sad. Additionally, only one person is responsible for Mr Savage’s actions and that person is Mr Savage. The girl is not at fault for being disabled, the neighbors are not at fault for not watching her more, the parents are not at fault for not seeing this coming, the society at large is not at fault because this happened. Period. Only one person is responsible for Mr Savage’s actions and that person is Mr Savage. Period. Shall we repeat it again, together?

  12. InsideJob says:

    So what kind of freak degenerate pervert video games was he into?

  13. AreYouHighOrWhat says:

    “So what kind of freak degenerate pervert video games was he into?”

    Probably the cult of Warcraft….they’re like scientologists on meth and they’re everywhere, in all age groups….it’s all very matrix like.

  14. murphtall says:

    “So what kind of freak degenerate pervert video games was he into?”

    The Sims perhaps?

    Just sayin’

  15. “DeptOfRevenue says:
    Vengence is mine said the Lord..and all you creeps have to learn that. ”

    Reliance on religion and your Mythical Man in the sky is what weak, undisciplined people adhere to !

    We are witnessing the beginnings of the end of the Christian Church here in America, The Church will shift it’s “influence” to third world countries where ignorance, superstition and poverty are fertile breeding grounds for the Church’s “message” of absurd rituals, ridiculous superstitions and meaningless rituals.

  16. Vengenance is between Tyler and God. Its our job to arrange the meeting !

  17. Amen, Imback!

  18. NineInchNachosII says:

    what a nightmare

  19. everythingalaska says:

    Before he burns in hell, the boys at Walla Walla will have a lot of fun with him, maybe even strangle him as they have their way with him. This is reality. It may happen and has happened before..

  20. Daisydog says:

    Man! This waste of DNA looks like a Junior Charles Manson…..

  21. InsideJob says:

    Isn’t 18 a little old to be spending your time playing video games?

  22. pen_mightier_than_sword says:

    Hopefully there won’t be a lot of beating around the bush. He should plead guilty and accept life without parole because of aggravating factors (vulnerable, child, sexual motivation, extreme cruelty, etc.).

    His parents and lawyer should meet with him at the jail and tell him for once in his life to take responsibility, plead guilty, take his punishment and get off to Walla Walla where he will live out his life. No need to waste a bunch of time and money with psychiatrists, etc. No doubt he is insane, no doubt he was abused (or so he will claim), no doubt he has “issues”, no doubt he liked to play violent video games, no doubt society has screwed him over and made him do it, etc. The bottom line is he did it and his parents have a duty to society to strongly encourage him to take responsibility.

    This will save the child’s family a lot of additional heart ache with unnecessary court appearances and will save the tax payers millions.

    He can go commiserate with the other members of the class of 2010 Pierce County murderers.

  23. stetsonwalker says:

    Why did the give this snake a flak jacket?

  24. Try him and hang him now

  25. reaper14all says:

    Okay, did you really think he would have pleaded guilty? Even if he would have the State Supreme Court would have over turned it as they care more about criminals’ rights then the victims’ rights. If you want honest to goodness justice nowadays you have to do it yourself. Looking at his picture he looks stoned. That will be another ploy to get him a reduced sentence and avoid the death penality. No wonder all the miscretians come here, they know they have a better then 50% chance of getting away with it. What ever happens to him will not be a tragic enough compared to what he did Kimmie. How many more will it take to finally say enough is enough? He led them to Kimmie’s body, and only the slime he is knew where her body was. If we could only get swift unbias justice his sentencing should be quick and if the death penalty is choosen it to should be swift. Since he stranggled her he should only get death by hanging. Justice then would be served.

  26. thoughtfuldox says:

    What made this “good kid” murder and rape an very innocent girl? I know things like opportunity, etc. but what ticks in him to do this? My prayers are with Kimmie and her family.

  27. Why is the ABSOLUTE moron ‘Imback’ so afraid of God?

  28. Kevindot1 says:

    It’s weird how someone here posted and said that this guy is their neighbor an everyone loves him. And she trusts him and how great he is. Then you see the picture on the front page and he looks like a flipping creep who could do this unthinkable, heinous crime. Maybe that is just our own brains making people in pictures that are accused of such things, that we now see them as bad people. But I don’t, he looks awfully mean in that picture.

  29. witchiwoman says:

    Was he on meth? What in the world was he thinking??? I hope somebody asks him that question.

  30. PuyallupRocks says:

    Funny. We’re willing to place the blame on abstract video games, but we’re not willing to talk about personal responsibility or the responsibility of his family. Video games do not make good people turn bad. They do not justify hurting another. They do not override the lessons of right and wrong that we all learn.

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