David Grunwald Found Dead After Smoking Friend's Weed
On Friday, a teen was found dead in Alaska.
Apparently, the battered, gunshot-ridden body that was recovered by the police belonged to David Grunwald, a 16-year-old boy from Palmer, Alaska. He had been missing for several weeks.
Now, another teenager, 16-year-old Erick Almandinger, is facing charges for kidnapping and murder after he allegedly admitted to killing his friend after he smoked his weed.
Apparently, Almandinger confessed to the killing of his friend, and even revealed the motive behind the murder to detectives during questioning.
PEOPLE reports a police affidavit stated, "The only motive that Almandinger indicated was present during the event was that [Grunwald] had smoked all his weed."
The affidavit also claims “he said they didn't get any money," and alleges “Almandinger showed very little, if any, remorse for his actions, and only shed tears when advised his 'friends' had talked to the police."
On the night of Grunwald's disappearance, his father became worried that his son had never returned home. He made a call to the police to express his concern.
During the call, Grunwald's father also told the police he thought his son may have gone to Anchorage, Alaska, with his friend, Erick Almandinger.
Authorities immediately began searching for David's vehicle. However, it wasn't until the next morning that someone called 911 to report a torched truck, which the police then identified as Grunwald's.
After the discovery of Grunwald's truck, friends and family scrambled to form a search party. They began desperately looking for Grunwald, while investigators turned their attention to finding Almandinger.
Court records revealed Grunwald's body was found in the woods of his hometown of Palmer, Alaska. He had been badly beaten and shot.
After learning of the heartbreaking news, Grunwald's devastated parents told Alaska Dispatch News in an email that “the kidnapping and murder of our son was unnecessary, weak minded, cowardice and shameful.”
In the email, his parents also said, “David was a sweet, caring and respecting boy" and "he was viciously attacked and murdered.”
Statements from Almandinger and newly-discovered evidence allowed the police to piece together how Grunwald had begged for his life while being attacked and fatally shot by Almandinger.
Court records indicate that on November 13, Grunwald and Almandinger had been drinking alcohol and smoking weed in a 1971 camper trailer, along with one other teen, "D.J." His full identity remains unknown.
"D.J" had allegedly asked Almandinger to retrieve a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun from his house.
After Almandinger returned, all three teens held and inspected the handgun.
According to the affidavit, things suddenly escalated when “D.J. bludgeoned [Grunwald] with the pistol,” and then drove the trailer to the nearby town of Butte, Alaska.
The affidavit alleges that Grunwald – who was only partially conscious after being beaten with the pistol – asked to be taken to his girlfriend's house.
Instead, "D.J." and Almandinger brought David to the woods, where he allegedly pleaded for his life before the murder was carried out.
Almandinger was questioned by the police several days later.
The teen allegedly told investigators that he had not seen his friend in weeks. He claimed he had been at a party in Anchorage on the night of Grunwald's disappearance.
However, detectives seized Almandinger's tablet. They were therefore able to find evidence that contradicted his alibi.
According to court records, the police then proceeded to question the teen a second time. This is when Almandinger allegedly admitted to lying about his whereabouts on the night of November 13.
After inspecting the camper trailer, police discovered “an overwhelming odor of bleach,” as well as blood evidence.
Almandinger allegedly told police that "D.J." was the one who opened fire on Grunwald.
However, he later changed his story by telling investigators that another person identified as “A.B” was actually the one who pulled the trigger.
If that doesn't sound fishy enough, Almandinger apparently told a friend he had beaten and shot Grunwald to death, according to court records.
Almandinger has since been charged with murder, and remains in police custody as the investigation continues.