Over the weekend, the weeks long search for missing teen David Grunwald ended in the worst way possible.
On Friday, Alaska State Troopers announced they found remains they believe belong to the 16-year-old in the complete OPPOSITE direction of where they previously found the boy’s car.
Another teenager has been arrested and charged with David’s murder.
According to a state trooper summary, 16-year-old Erick Almandinger is being charged as an adult with kidnapping and murder in the first degree.
The report ominously also stated that “others involved in this incident have been identified but have not been charged as of yet.”
Grunwald was last seen on Sunday, November 13 around 6:30 pm, dropping his girlfriend off in Palmer.
After that, the teen called his mom and said he had plans to stop by his friend Erick’s house and would be home 20 minutes late. Though Edith Grunwald didn’t know who Erick was, she was fine with her son’s plan… until he still wasn’t home at 11:45 pm.
After David’s family filed a missing persons report, authorities found the boy’s Ford Bronco burned down to its frame about 21 miles away from his girlfriend’s place.
Though there has not been a cause of death determined yet, the remains were found Friday afternoon in the Knik Road area just outside Palmer, Alaska.
Shortly after the news was announced, a crowd of over 200 people gathered at the Palmer Train Depot to hold a vigil for the late teen. Everyone in attendance sang songs and shared their favorite memories of the young man as one of his friends, Erika Naulty remembered:
“David was the person who you could always go to if you needed a good joke or needed to be cheered up. He’d make you feel better without trying very hard.”
Brenda Paradise, a private investigator the Grunwald’s hired to look into the disappearance even said:
“I never, ever thought I would see such dark evil in small town Alaska. Knowing what happened to this boy, it’s time to clean up this town. It’s time to take out the trash. I don’t want the death of David to go in vain. This isn’t over. This is just the beginning. Now it’s time for justice for Grunwald.”
We can’t begin to imagine suffering such a tragic loss.
[Image via Alaska State Troopers.]