Police search for teen’s attacker

14-year-old stabbed as she walked Everett trail


Herald Writers

EVERETT — Police are seeking help from the public to identify the person who repeatedly stabbed and tried to strangle a 14-year-old girl Monday morning as she walked along the Interurban Trail near 112th Street SE.

The fierce attack left the girl severely injured. She underwent surgery early Monday at Providence Everett Medical Center’s Colby Campus. She was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she was listed in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit Monday evening.

Police revealed few details about the nature and extent of her injuries, but Lt. John Springer said she was stabbed several times and her attacker also tried to strangle her.

However, she was conscious and able to talk to police and paramedics after the attack.

A man who lives in the area and also was on the trail saw the girl lying on the ground and bleeding about 6:20 a.m. She was next to the trail, about 50 feet from southbound I-5, and a man was near her.

As the witness approached, the man ran away. Police have no description of him. The witness summoned help.

"The seriousness of her injuries would lead me to believe the attacker was scared off," Everett police Sgt. Boyd Bryant said.

The girl left her home at the Country Club Apartments and headed south on the trail en route to a friend’s house. From there, she and her friend planned to take a bus to Cascade High School, where the girl is a freshman and school begins at 7:30 a.m.

Detectives interviewed a couple of people Monday but made no arrests, Bryant said.

Authorities were unable to airlift the girl from the scene because of fog and rain.

Detectives used an engineering device called a total station to measure and map the scene. Small white markers on the trail indicated the sites of possible evidence. Police erected a metal-frame shelter covered by a blue tarp to protect some evidence.

The 14-year-old transferred into the Everett School District as an eighth-grader in January, enrollment records say.

She may have previously been a student at Voyager Middle School in the Mukilteo School District, said Marcee Britton, an Everett School District spokeswoman.

Some of the girl’s closest school friends were informed about the assault during the day and offered counseling, said Gay Campbell, school district spokeswoman.

School officials told the student body what happened late in the school day. All students were offered counseling.

Campbell estimated that seven to 10 students sought counseling, signing a card for the girl.

Cascade also offered extra busing home from school Monday. That included transportation for students who ordinarily don’t take the bus.

"In the interest of safety for all of our students, we asked any students who wanted to ride the bus home today to go to the bus loop," Cascade principal John Green said in a letter to parents. "We had staff members there to put them on the right buses."

Green encouraged parents to remind their children to take safety precautions, such as riding the bus to school, walking in groups, being aware of surroundings and asking for help if they have concerns.

Some of the girl’s friends at the Everett Country Club Apartments took news of the assault hard, breaking into tears and seeking hugs from older friends who comforted them.

A group of friends gathered outside the girl’s home and expressed their concerns about her family as well, including a younger sister who reportedly didn’t go to school Monday.

Police said the girl’s family had gone to the hospital.

The 14-year-old likes boys, friends and the music of Shania Twain, Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey, said Jennifer Matthiesen, 13.

"She’s a sweet person who listens to what you have to say, and she’ll help you," said another friend, Dawn Morrissey, 14.

Parents, students and community members can meet with police and school officials, along with counselors, at 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. todayt in the Cascade High School library.

Detectives ask anyone who was in the area and saw anything or has information about the incident to call the Everett Police Department tip line at 425-257-8450.

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