FREDERICK COUNTY

Suspect Charged in Death of Frederick 19-Year-Old Who Went Missing

Joshua David Eckenrode, of Thurmont, was charged in the death of Curtis Mason Smith, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said

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A suspect has been charged in the death of a 19-year-old Frederick, Maryland, resident who went missing and then was found dead in a vehicle, officials say. 

Joshua David Eckenrode, of Thurmont, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Curtis Mason Smith, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday. 

Eckenrode, 19, was held after deputies found “multiple weapons and explosive materials” in a home with which he was associated, the sheriff’s office said. 

Deputies, detectives and Frederick Police Department officers worked around the clock to make an arrest in Smith’s death, said Lt. Andy Crone, FCSO criminal investigations commander.

“These professionals worked every lead, tip, and call they received, and through their investigative efforts, this person was quickly identified and detained,” Crone said in a statement. 

Smith was last seen Friday, and his family reported him missing, the sheriff’s office said. His body then was found in a vehicle on Sunday afternoon, and his death was determined to be suspicious

Detectives executed search and seizure warrants on two homes late Monday and found weapons and explosive materials, the sheriff’s office said. The devices were determined to be safe.

Eckenrode was initially charged with possession of a firearm and possession of explosives without a license. As the investigation continued over two days, detectives gained enough evidence to charge him with first-degree murder. 

Eckenrode was taken to the Frederick County jail. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney. 

Information was not released on a possible motive or any relationship the victim and suspect had.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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