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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Comments 7

  • Jim Hawley : Jun 12th

    Sure hope you have mommy_and_me_adventures on your radar. Now there’s a story worth exploring.

  • JhonYermo : Jun 12th

    Filthy coward bastard.

  • Kyla : Jun 13th

    That’s so horrible. If you’re going to kill yourself go ahead , but don’t murder an innocent child. I’ve been suicidal and would never hurt any child in a million years.
    That’s not despondent, that’s pure, true evil.

    • Laura Thomson Solloway : Jul 15th

      I just lost my Son Sean and My Grandson Dawson in a horrific tragedy
      This is an open investigation
      My Son loved his wife and his family.
      He would never go hiking at night, in flip flops in the rain, He would Never hurt or endanger his Children, please, do not make inappropriate statements, we are a family that is completely in shock.We all need prayers, community support and further information

    • Laura Solloway : Dec 24th

      Are you kidding me?
      No one hikes in the dark, in the rain, wearing flip flops, carrying a two year old!
      Then hiking 4.2 miles
      That is completely that doesn’t make sense
      It is highly unlikely
      No one mentioned, that theBlack Rock Trail, is pitch dark at 9 pm
      Or the trail is right behind the in-laws home in Boonsboro, Maryland or if he was so depressed why didn’t anyone help him ? Or that Emily had recently just been released from the psychiatric hospital, and she has mental illness herself.
      If they thought Sean was unstable or seriously depressed then why on earth would anyone allow him to take the baby after dark to go hiking, that doesn’t make logical sense?
      And, why do ALL of Sean’s neighbors of over six years, absolutely love Sean,? And his friends, and his five years career with Homewood Retirement Center of Frederick, who absolutely loved Sean, who ripped down the surveillance cameras in Sean’s house in SpringRidge Subdivision, of Frederick, Maryland, and, why wasn’t any of his family informed immediately about Sean missing until 5:07 am on June 11,2021 by a mother in law to say Sean and Dawson are dead
      Nothing makes logical sense

    • Laura Thomson Solloway : Jul 3rd

      Please do not post negivate comments.
      This is My Family .
      This is My Son and Grandson. There is much more to this story.
      Even State troopers spoke person and reporters should be ashamed of reporting on an open investigation.
      No one hikes in pitch darkness. Wearing flip flops. No headlamps.
      Carry his loving Son.
      My Son Loved his family
      He would Never take his children hiking after dark. Never. Talk to his neighbors of sux years who absolutely loved Sean and his children. Who ripped down his home security cameras in his house? This is a multiple loss for our family
      We are completely devastated. We also lost the relationship of our other grandchild rarely able to see, visit, or speak to her. After the loss of my Son and grandson. Three year’s and the police still today have my Son’s cellphone.
      For this on going investigation.
      My Son was a loving daddy, engaged with his children. His neighbors, friends, and family. Nothing makes logical sense.
      No one contacted our family on June 10, 2021
      No one….
      Only On 5:07 am on June 11, 2021 when teri kern called me and said They are gone!
      Again. Nothing makes logical sense.
      Now Emily kern claims it was an accident. And the in law teri kern said there is more to the story. Statements made December 26, 2023.
      Our family is praying for my sweet granddaughter
      I am a greiving Mother and Grandmother.

  • Laura Thomson Solloway : Jan 23rd

    We are grieving
    The loss of My Son Sean and loving Grandson Dawson.
    This is an open investigation.
    No hikes to pitch darkness, wearing flip flops, up a steep rocky mountain, no hiking gear, no head lamp, not wearing his glasses.
    Nothing makes logical since.
    My Son would Never hurt his children, nor take them out after dark.
    Why wasn’t our family called immediately?
    Please, continue to send prayers for all of us especially my sweet granddaughter who just lost her Daddy and little brother.
    Please, show respect with your comments.


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