Md. man, 2-year-old dead in apparent murder-suicide on Appalachian Trail

A Frederick, Maryland, man, appears to have killed his 2-year-old son and then himself Thursday night.

The Maryland State Police said in a statement Friday that the bodies of Dawson Thomson, 2, and his father, Sean, 34, were found along the Appalachian Trail in Washington County at about 3 a.m. Friday.

The police said Dawson Thomson’s mother and Sean Thomson’s wife reported the two missing at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. She said Sean Thomson had picked Dawson up from her parents’ home near Boonsboro at about 8:30 p.m. and told them he was going hiking.

She found her husband’s car in the parking lot to an entrance to the Appalachian Trail in Boonsboro, called the police to report the two missing, and said Sean Thomson had been despondent lately, the police said.

The police are treating the deaths as a murder-suicide.

“Shortly after 3 a.m. today, the body of the child was found in a ravine off the trail, more than a mile north of where the car was located,” a news release said.

The body of Sean Thomson was found less than an hour later.

The police said a knife was recovered from the scene, which they described as “a rugged location accessible only on foot.” The chief medical examiner in Baltimore is performing autopsies.

They said the motive was unclear and the family was living together. They’re asking anyone with more information to call them at 301-600-4151.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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