By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — Police in Marysville are investigating the death of an 82-year-old man who was found early Friday morning in his ransacked travel trailer.
“What we have is a homicide investigation,” Marysville police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said.
A family member discovered the man when he went to check on him early Friday. By early afternoon, police were asking for the public’s help in locating the slain man’s 2006 Chevrolet Colorado. The champagne-colored pickup truck, license B03681A, is believed to have been stolen.
“We are considering the occupants as being armed and dangerous and ask that the public do not try to intervene. We simply want them to call 911 to report the location of the vehicle,” Lamoureux said.
Detectives were called to a home in the 9800 block of State Avenue about 3 a.m. Friday.
The first officers to the scene quickly determined the death was a likely homicide and called for detectives, Lamoureux said.
Police were not releasing the man’s name pending notification of family and confirmation of identity by the Snohomish County medical examiner.
Late in the day they confirmed that the victim was a registered sex offender.
An 82-year-old man with convictions for statutory rape and indecent liberties was registered as living in the neighborhood where the homicide occurred.
According to the sex offender registry maintained by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the man had convictions in the early 1980s for offenses against girls ages 8 to 14. While in prison, he was determined not to be a good candidate for sex offender treatment.
Detectives obtained a search warrant to enter the slain man’s house and gather evidence.
“His trailer was ransacked, and it didn’t appear like there was forced entry,” Lamoureux said. “The family members said he was very neat. He kept it very tidy.”
Police were able to see the victim from the entrance to his home.
“That’s how we were able to determine that it is likely a homicide,” Lamoureux said.
Crime scene technicians from the Washington State Patrol were assisting Marysville police in gathering evidence.
It’s unclear when the man died. His family had not had contact with him for a couple of days.
The man lived in the Brookside Mobile RV Park for a few years, a neighbor said. The location is sandwiched between a supermarket on the east side of State Avenue and railroad tracks to the west.
Police set up orange traffic cones across the private 5 mph road that winds through the park.
John Giron, 70, has lived in the mobile home park since 2000.
He said the park once was designated for retirees, but has been opened to families in recent years.
With an older population, it has not been unusual for aid cars to be called to the neighborhood.
Waking up to police cars was surprising, Giron said.
“It has always been low-key,” he said.
He said he saw the man who was killed just about every day, but didn’t know him by name.
The victim had two pickup trucks and he washed them often, Giron said. He was surprised to learn the man’s age.
“I knew he was an elderly person, but he didn’t look that old,” Giron said. “He’s pretty active.”
People on their way to work along State Avenue whizzed by the crime scene.
A few people stood on the sidewalk wondering why someone would hurt somebody so elderly.
John Kearns was out riding his scooter. He said the victim’s age meant he was particularly vulnerable.
“It’s sad,” he said. “You can’t even truly defend yourself. I can’t believe someone would do that.”
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.