MARYSVILLE – Flowers lie at the base of the basketball hoop where Robbie Myrick Jr. always played.
One of his neighbors, Jean Hageman, said the 16-year-old boy who died Monday from injuries suffered in a fight Aug. 19 was very helpful.
“He was always playing basketball,” she said. “His dad did a good job raising him. He was respectful.” The Marysville Getchell High School junior would help her with yard work and other things that needed to be done.
“He’d wave and say, ‘hi’,” she said. “We never had any concerns about him.”
Hageman said a GoFundMe page has been started with a goal of raising $50,000. The medical bills are extremely high as the boy was in a hospital bed for a week on life support. There have been no arrests.
Mike and Sandy Zumbach of Lake Stevens, who are friends of the boy’s dad, also named Robert, set up the account at www.gofundme.com/medical-expenses-memorial-fund or www.gofundme.com/robertleemyrickjr. They knew his son his entire life.
“He was a very sweet kid, quiet,” Sandy said in an email. “After watching the outpouring of support at the hospital, it’s evident that he had a large group of friends that cared about him.” Hageman said the dad came to her home Tuesday to thank her husband, who was one of the firefighter-paramedics who responded that Saturday. Hageman added that her husband didn’t recognize the victim was their neighbor or realize it until days later.
“He’s totally dazed, almost in shock,” she said of the boy’s dad.
She said the teen was tall and skinny and apparently sticking up for some friends, which led to the fight.
“They left him in the woods to die,” she said of bystanders who reportedly waited 40 minutes before calling police.
Police said Monday that a fistfight to “settle their differences” resulted in the death. The medical examiner’s office said Wednesday that he died of blunt force trauma to the head.
The victim was already aboard an ambulance when officers arrived Aug. 19 at 3:50 p.m. During the investigation, detectives learned there were approximately a dozen kids who went to “Spook Woods” to watch the fight between the two teens, which had been pre-arranged. Investigators have confirmed there is nothing to indicate that the fight was gang-,race- or school-related.
“These are the most tragic of circumstances. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the victim and the victim’s family,” Marysville police Cmdr. Mark Thomas said. “When engaging in a fight there is always the risk of serious injury,” Thomas added. “There are so many other alternatives in settling disputes. I would encourage everyone to seek out ways to settle a difference, other than a physical confrontation.” Marysville Fire Department initially responded to a report of a man down in a wooded lot in the 8200 block of 52nd Dr. NE, known to many locals as “Spook Woods.” It is located just south of Pinewood Elementary School.
A neighbor of that area, who asked not to be identified, said Tuesday that she came home that Saturday to a street filled with police and aid cars. The victim was on a stretcher.
“That’s so sad,” she said. “He must have been beaten up pretty good.”
She said the neighborhood is fortunate in that there have been few problems with the forest. There doesn’t seem to be much of a homeless or drug problem there like in other parts of town.
The Marysville School District sent out a statement to students’ families, which says staff and administrators are available to talk with students.
“We are saddened by the news of one of our students passing this summer. District and school staff are working with law enforcement as they investigate this senseless tragedy,” it says.