Maryland father and 3-year-old son found dead in murder-suicide, man sent mysterious box to friend for ‘safekeeping’

The Baltimore Sun reported that police were called to a house in Bel-Air, Maryland, at 6 p.m. on Thursday and officers found Jason Douglas DeWitt and his son Grayson DeWitt dead of what looked like gunshot wounds.

It took the police some time to find the bodies because a note placed on a locked door on the second floor suggested that there were explosives inside. After eventually getting in, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler reported that it was not actually rigged to explode.

Officers allegedly attempted to contact residents of the house for hours. When they entered the room with the note on the door, they found the bodies of the father and son.

Gahler stated that the investigators believe the murder-suicide was a premeditated act and DeWitt planned to kill his son and himself. According to reports, he delivered a box to a friend’s house the same day for safekeeping and did not tell the friend what was inside. Just before 6 p.m. he called his friend and told him to open the box, which the friend did. Inside the box were certain unspecified items that seemed to suggest DeWitt was suicidal and the friend called 911. Father and son were probably dead by that time.

Gahler reported to the newspaper, “I think that all indications at this point are…that the suspect had placed things in place so meticulously that he had committed this act before the friend was able to call 911. Before deputies arrived on the scene, it is most likely both subjects were deceased.”

DeWitt was a drum teacher who worked from home and neighbours allegedly did not see him very often but they had not noticed any suspicious behaviour either. They also did not report hearing any gunshots. The mother of the child lived in the house too but was not at home at the time of the incident. Her identity has not been released.

The sheriff said, “What mother could be alright, for the rest of her life, moving forward after the loss of her 3-year-old? I can’t imagine that sense of loss.”

The police have not revealed any motive for the murder-suicide as of now.