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Police: Man, 2-year-old son dead in apparent murder-suicide on Appalachian Trail in Maryland

BOONSBORO, Md. — A Frederick County man and his 2-year-old son were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide along the Appalachian Trail in western Maryland early Friday, state police said.

The boy’s mother contacted Maryland State Police on Thursday night and reported her husband, Sean Thompson, and their son, Dawson, missing, police said in a news release. She told police that her husband picked up their son from her parents’ home at 8:30 p.m. and said he was going hiking. She found his car parked in a lot along the trail in Boonsboro and told police she was concerned because her husband had been despondent lately.

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

The boy’s body was found around 3 a.m. Friday in a ravine off the trail more than a mile north of the car and his father’s body was found an hour later, police said. Both bodies had obvious trauma, and a knife was recovered from the scene.

A motive remains unclear, police said. The bodies will be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for autopsies.

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