BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As authorities in Frederick County continue to investigate the murder of 19-year-old Curtis Mason Smith, they are learning more about the suspect in his murder, 19-year-old Joshua David Eckenrode.
During a press conference Thursday, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said among the items they found in Eckenrode’s apartment were notes alluding he was allegedly planning a mass shooting or mass casualty event and that he would not survive.READ MORE: Missing 19-Year-Old Curtis 'Mason' Smith Found Dead In Frederick County
“We know what we found in Mr. Eckenrode’s apartment — explosive devices, materials for more devices, a huge number of firearms, handguns, rifles and quite a bit of ammunition,” said Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. “We don’t know what a potential target might have been. I have no idea. Again in the notes, we found that alluded something was going to happen and he probably wouldn’t survive. So beyond that at this point, we just simply don’t know.”
According to charging documents, police found two assembled explosive devices, along with a note addressed to Eckenrode’s sister, mom and dad. The note expressed Eckenrode’s apologies for “having to go out this way.”
There was also a plan of action written detailing guns strategically stored in different stages at unknown locations.
“It’s most like that Mason stopped that,” Jenkins said.
According to charging documents, Eckenrode and Smith met up last Friday to either buy, sell or trade firearms, but the deal went bad.
Investigators believe Eckenrode shot the victim and according to the charging documents, “The body was then placed into Curtis Smith’s Honda Accord and transported to the abandoned property.”
A day after the teen disappeared, a family walking their dog near that property “…approached the vehicle and as [a woman] peered into the tinted windows she observed a bloody hand in the rear of the vehicle.”READ MORE: Joshua David Eckenrode Charged In Murder Of Curtis Mason Smith In Frederick
WJZ has learned that abandoned property is owned by Better World Builders LLC. The registered agent for that entity is Timothy Hogan, the governor’s brother.
Charging documents say the property wasn’t kept up.
Zachary Smith, Curtis’ dad, called his son a hero and said he “was a great kid and he always knew the right things to do.”
“He’s always stood up for what was right and I just think at the end of the day Mason lost his life for either saying ‘no, I don’t want to do that,’ ‘you know you shouldn’t do this’ or whatever,” Zachary Smith said.
The teens were acquaintances from school, but both the sheriff’s office and Mason’s family said they weren’t friends nor was Mason involved in planning any attack with Eckenrode.
“My son wasn’t a part of this,” Zachary Smith added. “He stopped this. He saved this community from something crazy happening.”
A candlelight vigil will be held to honor Mason’s life on April 11 at 7 p.m. in Clover Park.MORE NEWS: Frederick Property Where Curtis Mason Smith Was Found Dead Is Partially Owned By Gov. Hogan's Family
“I want to express my sincere condolences to the entire Smith family,” Jenkins said. “This was a senseless, needless tragedy and there’s no reason on earth why a 19-year-old should take the life of another, so to the Smith family you have my deepest condolences.”