BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A 20-year-old Bay Area native was found dead inside a tent at a campground in Butte County over the busy holiday weekend, authorities said.
On July 3, around 5 a.m., the Butte County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a person who was camping at the Bidwell Marina Campground in Oroville.
The person said he saw a man at the campground who was injured.
Deputies and California State Parks law enforcement responded to the scene and located Tyler Dickson, 20, of San Pablo, inside a tent.
Medical personnel arrived and determined Dickson was dead.
Detectives responded to the Bidwell Marina Campground and gathered evidence and information which indicated Dickson was murdered.
Dickson was a well-known athlete at El Cerrito High School, where he graduated in 2019. His godfather said he had a college football scholarship and had a bright future ahead of him.
Now that’s all gone and his family is devastated as they still look for answers.
“He was a great kid. He was a kid that always, I mean, he was first to practice, last to leave,” said Andre Williams.
Williams was heartbroken when he learned his godson was killed on Saturday while on a camping trip at the Bidwell Canyon Marina Campground.
“He was just a gentle giant,” Williams said. “His mom, they raised him right. He came from a great family and it’s tragic that this happened to a kid like that and he was already on scholarship.”
Williams said Dickson had a scholarship to Western Colorado University for football.
He graduated from El Cerrito High School in 2019 and was the former quarterback of the football team. Williams said he also played basketball.
“It’s really devastated the community here because he was one of the ones we knew was going to make it and help these kids out, and right now we’re just in mourning,” Williams said.
While it’s been a few days since Dickson died, Williams said many questions still linger.
He said Dickson was on the trip with his girlfriend’s family at the time, and later learned that Dickson was shot and killed in the abdomen while inside his tent.
“What we do know is supposedly someone came in his tent while him and his girlfriend was sleeping and just shot one time, shot him and ran off,” Williams said. “Real puzzling, especially when I talk to his mom because there’s no answers. It doesn’t make any sense.”
So far, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office has put out limited information and has not named any suspects. They say the investigation is ongoing and they’re asking the public to come forward with any information they may have.