2-Year-Old Boy, Father Found Dead on Appalachian Trail in Apparent Murder-Suicide

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A toddler and his father from Frederick, Maryland, were found dead along the Appalachian Trail, and police are investigating their deaths as an apparent murder-suicide.

Maryland State Police said the victim is 2-year-old Dawson Thomson, of Frederick, Maryland. Police believe he was killed by his father, Sean M. Thomson, 34, of Frederick.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene in the Black Hills area of the trail in Washington County.

A search unfolded after Sean Thomson's wife, who was Dawson’s mother, called police late Thursday.

She said her husband had picked up their son from her parents’ home about two hours earlier, telling them he was going hiking. She got worried after they didn't come home and was concerned because her husband had been despondent lately. She called police after finding her husband's car in a parking lot along the Appalachian Trail in Boonsboro.

Maryland State Police launched a search with several other agencies.

They found Dawson’s body shortly after 3 a.m. Friday in a ravine about a mile and a half up the trail. Less than an hour later, the body of Sean Thomson was found. Police said both bodies had obvious trauma.

"Just appears to be a tragic example of the despondency that can settle in on someone," said Greg Shipley of Maryland State Police. "Certainly, we urge people if they have any indication at all with someone they know, to get help."

Police said a motive remained unclear and the family had been living together.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Frederick Barrack at 301-600-4151. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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