Home for sex offenders prompts Marysville family to move

Home for sex offenders prompts Marysville family to move
MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- When a home for sex offenders moved into a quiet Marysville neighborhood, one family felt they had no choice but to pack their bags and move.

Michelle Morck and her family have lived in the same home for the last 20 years. Two years ago they opened an in-home pastry shop, called Gracie's Pastries.

All was going well until last month, when an officer from the Department of Corrections came to the house to notify Morck that a level-3 sex offender would be visiting the home adjacent to her property.

"She let us know that there were three offenders currently residing there," Morck said. "There was going to be a minimum of 21 sex offenders residing just yards from our home."

The news spooked her, and she began thinking about all the bad things that could happen.

"We couldn't take that chance," she said. "We need to close the business."

The family is now looking for a home away from Snohomish County, but they didn't go down without a fight. Morck took her concerns to the Marysville City Council, where Mayor Jon Nehring pledged to help the cause.

"I can tell you we are proactively looking for state legislators to change that because that is exactly what needs to happen," Nehring said at the meeting.

It's not just the Morck family concerned about the sex offenders, either. A father who lives near the home didn't want to be identified, but echoed many of Morck's concerns.

"I'm not staying. In good conscience, as a parent, I cant allow my family to stay here," the man said. "Budget be damned. I don't have a choice."

Like many of her neighbors, Morck said she doesn't feel like she has a choice.

"We have absolutely no control," she said. "We are completely helpless."

The home is operating legally and none of the sex offenders are accused of doing anything wrong since moving in. Morck said even though her family is leaving, she's going to follow up with state lawmakers about the situation.