Salt Lake County Jail
Tyler James Vernon

MILLCREEK — Unified police have identified the man killed inside his Millcreek home Monday.

The body of Steven Richard Nyce, 61, was found Monday afternoon inside a house at 1280 E. 3770 South. Tyler James Vernon, 37, was arrested for investigation of aggravated murder in his death.

Just after 2 p.m., police were called to the house after witnesses say Vernon ran outside the house with bloody hands yelling that someone was hurt, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray.

Vernon told a neighbor "he had just killed someone," according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

The first arriving officers found Vernon standing on a front porch holding a metal object, the report states. "Officers gave several commands for (him) to drop the object, which he did, and was safely taken into custody."

Police then entered the house and found Nyce "lying face up in the living room next to the couch," according to the report. He had "suffered severe head injuries and appeared to be deceased."

Investigators said Nyce appeared to have been beaten to death.

Officers noted in the report that items in the room were knocked over, as if there had been a struggle in the room.

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Investigators believe both men lived in the house, but it was not immediately known how they were associated. Vernon declined to speak to detectives once he was taken into custody. He did, however, refer to the officers as "demons" and "commanded them to release him in the name of his god," according to the report.

A possible motive for the crime was still being investigated Tuesday.

Vernon has a lengthy history of alcohol-related crimes, including DUI and intoxication, according to court records.