The young man who was killed in a wooded area in Belle River Thursday night was a loyal friend who could light up a room with his smile, says the mother of his infant son.
"Last night we lost an amazing man," said Kaila Arcand. "This tragedy will affect everyone on a level no one can ever comprehend. We will forever feel his presence and his memories will never fade."
Marcus Pierce, 18, was fatally injured during an altercation involving several combatants in a typically quiet suburban neighbourhood.
A 17-year-old Windsor male and a 14-year-old Windsor male also suffered injuries in the altercation, which occurred in a woodlot frequented by youth, near the end of Lenore Street
A 17-year-old Lakeshore male has been charged with second-degree murder and two counts of assault causing bodily harm. His name cannot be released under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He remains in custody and will appear in court July 27.
Arcand does not know the details of what happened to Pierce — the man she has been dating "off and on" for two years — but she said a large community of friends and family will miss him dearly.
"He was everyone's right-hand man," she said. "You needed him and he was there in a heartbeat."
Just before 10 p.m., a teenage girl came running out of the woods screaming "my boyfriend's been stabbed, my boyfriend's been stabbed," said Brian Cassidy, who lives at the end of Lenore next to the wooded area.
The young woman phoned 911 but was distraught so Cassidy grabbed the phone and spoke with the dispatcher to ensure they had the right address.
Emergency crews descended on the area and Cassidy said at least one person was taken away in an ambulance. Yellow police tape cordoned off a large area in the quiet neighbourhood Friday and police officers scoured the scene with a canine unit and a metal detector.
Cassidy said the wooded area is a popular spot for teenagers, who party and often ride around with off-road vehicles.
"It's hard to access, so it just gets taken over by the kids having parties," Cassidy said. "Other than that, it's a great neighbourhood, great community."
Police suspect the people involved in the fight all knew one another, but as a precaution they urged residents to secure their homes.
Detective Inspector Gerry Scherer of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch is heading up the investigation.