A 16-year-old Marysville boy dies 9 days after prearranged fistfight

MARYSVILLE, Wash. – A fistfight to “settle differences” has taken the life of a 16-year-old Marysville boy.

Police said the fight between two 16-year-old boys happened on August 19, in an area known to many as “Spook Woods.” One of the boys involved in the fight was transported to the hospital with serious injuries; he died in the hospital last Monday -- nine days after the fight.

Neighbors said the woods where the fight occurred have become increasingly dangerous over the years and would like to see something done to turn it around.

“A lot of drug activity, a lot of young kids going in there partying, a lot of homeless people,” said Sheri Yeoman, describing what she sees on a regular basis outside her front door.

“Fires, people with addiction to hard drugs, fights, trash galore,” said Yeoman’s neighbor, Ron Chigbrow.

The list of issues in “Spook Woods” goes on and on and spans decades, said neighbors. “I have been fighting it for years,” said Chigbrow. “I just don’t have the support I used to have with it now.”

Chigbrow said he has kept an eye on the piece of private property near his home known to locals as “Spook Woods.” In the 28 years he’s lived there, he said, it wasn’t always bad. “We had some good groups of kids back in the day that just came out and rode their bicycles and that was great,” he said.

But for the past 17 years, he said, those kids grew up, left and things haven’t been the same. “Something has to be done because it has gotten to the point where things have gotten out of hand,” said Chigbrow.

Both Chigbrow and Yeoman said they have repeatedly called the police for help, but they were surprised to learn about the fatal fight.

Police were called to the area on Aug. 19 with reports of a “man down” in the woods. Police later learned that the 16-year-old boy transported to the hospital was involved in a prearranged fight to "settle differences" with another 16-year-old boy. More than a dozen other high school students were said to have attended to the fight as spectators.

Marysville Police won’t say what those differences were, but have confirmed the fight was not gang-related.

“This is a tragic set of circumstances and our hearts and thoughts go out to the victim and the victim’s family,” said Cmdr. Mark Thomas, with Marysville Police. “Because the investigation is ongoing and involving juveniles this is the limited information that we will be releasing at this time."

The teen who died was a Marysville student. Marysville school officials notified families of their other students of the death and counselors are on-hand to help students cope.

“I think there’s more bad than there is good that goes over there,” said Yeoman. “I won’t go in there. I won’t go in there at all.”

Both of the boys involved in the fight have been identified. The death is still under investigation. So far, police have not made an arrest.

Q13 has reached out to the family who owns the wooded property where the fight occurred. We have not heard back for comment.