Man Drowns in Slough Near Burlington

Police Light Bar File Photo

Burlington, WA – On July 16th, 2018, just before 9:00 p.m., Skagit County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call for an individual who needed to be removed from a property in the 10000 block of Collins Road.

According to police reports, obtained through a public disclosure request, the initial 9-1-1 caller had told dispatchers that a male subject, who she did not know, drove a vehicle onto her property. The caller told dispatch the male was said to be acting strangely, talking to himself, took his pants off and was spraying himself with her garden hose  and had refused to leave when asked to do so.   The RP then told dispatchers that the male had jumped her fence and took off running towards State Route 20 and appeared to possibly be on drugs.

Multiple additional reporting parties called into Skagit 9-1-1 and told dispatchers that a male was running in and out of traffic on State Route 20 and he had been running through multiple yards and appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Skagit County Sheriff’s Deputies notified the Washington State Patrol and Sedro-Woolley Police Department for assistance in locating the subject.  While en route to the initial call, it was relayed to deputies that the male had entered a home in the 21000 block of Plaza Drive, without pants on. The homeowners did not know the male, and their dogs inside the home scared off the intruder.  They told Deputies the man  was last seen running Northbound through the bushes towards Ridge Place.

Upon arriving in the area where the male was last seen, neighbors told Deputies they had seen the male run into a backyard nearby.  The neighbor also told Deputies that the male appeared to be overdosing on something. Deputies contacted Dispatch and requested that Sedro-Woolley Fire and EMS be sent to the area to stage and standby in the area to check the welfare of the male once he was located and the scene was deemed safe to enter.

A homeowner in the 21000 block of Plaza Drive allowed Deputies access to their  backyard, where Law Enforcement heard  a male thrashing around in a slough/pond. Deputies attempted to make verbal communication with the male, notifying him that medical personnel were nearby to check him out if he was overdosing.  Due to the thick reed grass, Deputies could not see them man, but heard him making thrashing sounds through the grass in the pond and intermittently heard the man make unintelligible statements and noises.

WSP Troopers and Sedro-Woolley Officers attempted to make contact with the subject from the North bank of the slough.  Troopers attempted to wade into the muddy water to make contact with the male when he dunked his head underwater and disappeared.  Law Enforcement borrowed a canoe from a neighbor and attempted to locate the subject using the canoe without success. Troopers had also called for OMAHA, a Helicopter from Whatcom County  to respond and use Forward Looking Infrared Technology (FLIR) to locate the subject. Sedro-Woolley  Firefighters also responded into the scene and attempted to use their Thermal imaging devices to locate the man as well without success.  Skagit County Sheriff’s Deputies launched their Drone with FLIR and were unable to locate the man as well. As the situation clearly turned from a rescue attempt to a recovery attempt,  Dive Rescue responded  to the scene the following day and located the subject underneath what they described as a small island within the water that was covered with crab grass in a very murky and muddy area. The Diver Rescue members removed the male from the slough and turned his remains over to the Skagit County Deputy Coroner.

Shane Young

The Skagit County Coroner was able to positively identify the male as 47-year old Shane Eric Young of Mount Vernon, WA.  A graveside service was  held on Saturday. July 28, 2018 at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Mt. Vernon, WA 98273.

About the Author

Chris Nelson
I'm a long time Skagit County Resident. I believe in doing the right thing and helping others when you can.

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