UPDATE as of 4:08 p.m. At this point, deputies believe Sara Barrett was killed in the motel room, but do not yet know if she was injured before that, Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. The cause of her death has yet to be determined, he said.
INITIAL POST: A Spanaway woman was found dead in a Tacoma motel room this morning, hours after her estranged husband allegedly confessed to killing his wife and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase.
Tony Barrett, 42, called KOMO about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday to tell them he had killed his wife and ask them to post it on Facebook. He did not provide details to the television station.
“It was supposed to be ’til death do us part, but she wouldn’t …. ” KOMO reported the man said.
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were able to identify the man and began searching for his wife, Sara Barrett. The couple has three sons and have been married for about 26 years.
Sara Barrett’s vehicle was found outside her work in DuPont at 11:20 p.m. Wednesday night. Authorities said blood was found in the car and they believe Tony Barrett abducted his wife when she got off work Wednesday afternoon. She worked at Pier 1 Import’s distribution center, according to her Facebook page.
A University of Washington Tacoma security officer spotted Tony Barrett’s truck in downtown Tacoma near 3 a.m. and followed it until Tacoma police officers caught up. He refused to pull over, prompting a 100 mile per hour pursuit that went over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and ended near Burnham Drive on state Route 16 after police threw down spikes to pop his tires.
“He came out with a crowbar and tried to fight officers and the K-9,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Tony Barrett received several dog bites during the struggle and was taken to the hospital after being arrested.
“At this point, we’re trying to talk to him to see what we can learn,” Troyer said.
Deputies discovered Sara Barrett’s body at Motel 6, 1811 South 76th St., in Tacoma around 6:15 a.m.
Motel 6 manager, Amber Nedrow, said the motel has not contacted those staying at the motel about the ongoing investigation. She declined to say how many people are currently registered at the motel.
“We are cooperating fully with the police,” Nedrow said.
No motive has been given for Sara Barrett’s death but the couple apparently had a tumultuous relationship.
Tony Barrett pleaded guilty to third-degree assault against his wife in 2008. Court records indicate he attacked his wife after they returned home from a club, holding a pillow over her face until she almost suffocated.
One of their sons kicked in the bedroom door to save his mother.
Tony Barrett served one day in jail and two years of supervision from 2008 to February 2010, according to state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Judi Feliciano. A judge ordered him not to have any “hostile contact” with Sara Barrett for five years. The order expired Feb. 25.
Sara Barrett filed for two protection orders against her husband in 2009 and 2012 but failed to show up for court so they were denied, records show.
In a petition to keep Tony Barrett away from herself and her youngest son, Sara Barrett described her husband in January 2012 as “manipulative and intimidating” and said he followed her to car after work and forced her into his vehicle at knifepoint so they could talk.
He allegedly made her promise to come home after work, which she did because she feared for the safety of their sons.
“He has said that he will never let me go,” Sara Barrett wrote. “I am afraid for my life when it comes to him.”
She claimed he beat her, once hitting her in the head so hard that it damaged her hearing, and sometimes attacked their boys. Tony Barrett tried to commit suicide when his wife tried to leave him, Sara Barrett said in court papers.
Tony Barrett works as a delivery driver for Tacoma Public Schools’ purchasing department, delivering food, school and office supplies to various campuses. Tony Barrett began working there in July 2001 and is currently on a two-week vacation, district spokesman Dan Voelpel said.