Father, 2-year-old son found dead in apparent murder-suicide on Maryland trail

A death investigation that began Friday has revealed that the two bodies found on the Appalachian Trail in Maryland were a father and son. Police say they died in an apparent murder-suicide.

Maryland State Police and officers with the Maryland Department of Natural resources began investigating in the early morning hours. The child was identified as 2-year-old Dawson Thomson and his father was identified as 34-year-old Sean M. Thomson. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to the preliminary investigation, around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Thomson's wife contacted the Maryland State Police and reported that her husband had picked up their son from her parent’s home near Boonsboro about 8:30 p.m. and said he was going hiking.

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She says she went to the parking lot along the Appalachian Trail in the 11000 block of Baltimore National Pike where she found her husband’s car parked. 

She contacted police and reported her son and husband missing, expressing concern because she said her husband had been despondent lately. Police noted that the family was living together in Frederick. 

Maryland State Police launched a search and called in Mobile Field Force, Special Operations Division and Natural Resources Police, including personnel trained in tracking. 

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Shortly after 3:00 a.m. Friday, the body of the child was found in a ravine off the trail, more than a mile north of where the car was located. Less than an hour later, the body of his father was found. Police say the scene is in a rugged location accessible only on foot. 

Both bodies had obvious trauma and officials say a knife has been recovered from the scene. The bodies will be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for autopsies. 

The motive is not clear at this time. The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact Frederick Barrack at 301-600-4151.