Man and 2-Year-Old Son Found Dead on Maryland AT in Apparent Murder-Suicide
A father and son were found dead on the Appalachian Trail near Boonsboro, MD on Friday morning in an apparent murder-suicide, according to Maryland State Police.
Authorities identified the victim as Dawson Thomson, 2, and his father as Sean Thomson, 34, both of Frederick, MD. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Sean Thomson’s wife, who is also the mother of Dawson, reported the pair missing around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night after finding her husband’s car at a trailhead. According to Mrs. Thomson, her husband had picked Dawson up from her parent’s house around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, telling them he was going hiking. She told authorities she was concerned because “her husband had been despondent lately,” according to police.
Maryland State Police launched an immediate search operation, and authorities discovered Dawson Thomson’s body shortly after 3 a.m. Friday morning. The remains were off-trail in a ravine over a mile north of the trailhead where the car was parked. Sean Thomson’s remains were located less than an hour later.
Authorities said that both bodies showed obvious signs of trauma and that a knife was recovered from the scene. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore will perform autopsies.
A section of the Appalachian Trail north of Route 40 was briefly closed today while investigators and crime scene technicians processed the scene, which authorities said “is in a rugged location only accessible on foot.” According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the trail officially reopened this afternoon. “Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of the deceased,” the ATC said of the tragedy in a written statement.
Luke Howard, an AT thru-hiker currently passing through the Boonsboro area, reported that police had interviewed other hikers at their camp around 4 a.m. this morning, but that he was otherwise unaware of trail closures or police presence in the area today.
The investigation, which is ongoing, has yet to turn up any clear motive for the crime. Police say the family was living together. Anyone with information about this tragedy should contact the Frederick Barrack at 301-600-4151.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).
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