Sara Barrett, 42, was found dead from "homicidal violence" about 6 a.m. Thursday in a room in the Motel 6 at 1811 S 76th Street in Tacoma, said Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.
Police began searching for the woman late Wednesday after her husband, Tony James Barrett, called KOMO News and said he had killed her. KOMO News then immediately notified law enforcement authorities.
Deputies later found the woman's car and impounded it at her workplace, a Pier 1 Imports distribution center in Dupont. They found what they believed to be blood in the car.
Police in Tacoma later located the woman's husband, who sped away from officers in his vehicle. They pursued him across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge at speeds approaching 100 mph.
Spike strips were used to stop the husband's vehicle on Highway 16 west of Tacoma. The suspect then attacked officers with a crowbar, Troyer said, and officers used a police dog to subdue and detain him
In his earlier phone call to KOMO News, the husband said he wanted a message put on Facebook: "I just killed my wife ... I want you to put it on your Facebook."
The man told the KOMO News assignment desk that he and his wife had been together for 28 years.
"It was supposed to be 'til death do us part, but she wouldn't .... " he said.
The man then would not say where his wife could be found, but said, "They'll find her tonight or by tomorrow."
The assignment desk asked the caller if there was someone we could notify, and he said “No, I’m not going to be here much longer.”
When the assignment desk asked if they could contact police, he disconnected.
The Tacoma School District confirmed Thursday that Tony Barrett works for the district as a warehouse specialist, delivering products to Tacoma schools. He has worked for the district since July 2001, officials said.
Family members said they were shocked by the killing.
"It's been rocky for a couple of years - they've been off and on - but this is shocking, this is something that nobody would have expected him to do," said Sara Barrett's niece, Candice Saucedo. "He loved her; he'd been with her for 20-some years. I still don't believe he did it, I don't understand it."
Saucedo said Sara was a kind, caring person.
"She was the most caring, beautiful, wonderful person. She had a huge heart, and for this to happen - oh my gosh. I can't even explain - she was perfect; everybody loved her," she said. "She just became a grandmother. ... She was so excited, and for him to just take all this away, its just ridiculous."
"Hopefully he'll spend the rest of his days where he belongs and he won't be able to hurt anybody else," she said.
On Thursday, Sara's youngest son, Tyler Barrett, spoke about the loss of his mother.
"It hasn't even quite hit me yet. It's all a big blur," he said. "It's a tragedy that I could never imagine. She was just so kind. She gave more to others than herself."
Tyler also spoke about his father, who is accused of killing Sara.
"He's just a sick man. A sick man. I'm ashamed he's my father," Tyler said.
Court records show that Tony Barrett also was charged with attacking his wife for unexplained reasons in 2007, holding a pillow over her face until she nearly suffocated.
The couple's grown son broke down the bedroom door and stopped the attack, and Tony Barrett fled from the home when he learned police were on the way.
He later pleaded guilty to third-degree assault for that attack, serving one day in jail and two years under Department of Corrections supervision.
He was ordered not to have any "hostile contact" with Sara Barrett for five years. That order expired three weeks ago on Feb. 25.
On Thursday evening, about three dozen people came to the second-story balcony outside the Tacoma Motel 6, where Sara died. Some had balloons. Others carried candles. They wanted to remember her.