“We didn't know Erick. We still don't know Erick.” Weeks ago, murdered teen’s mom said he may have been heading to see teenager with same name as alleged killer

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - On Saturday, Alaska State Troopers said that Erick Almandinger, 16, was charged with First-Degree Murder in the death of David Grunwald, 16.

Nearly three weeks ago, Edith Grunwald said she heard her son may have been going to see a friend named Erick on the night he disappeared.

“His girlfriend said that he had mentioned to her that he was going to stop by a friend Erick's house on the way home,” Grunwald said on Nov. 15, two days after her son went missing.

“We didn't know Erick. We still don't know Erick. But I immediately called Erick's dad to find out who, what, when, or where. And so Troopers are following up with that,” Edith said.

Grunwald said she believed her son may have been trying to help a friend that night.

“I think that maybe somebody maybe needed a ride somewhere and David's got wheels and he's always willing to help out, and really a nice sweet kid. So he probably thought he was maybe going to give a ride to somebody, or maybe just checking in to see how they were doing,” she said. “He likes to keep up with his friends around the area, because he went to Colony (High School) for two years before he got into career tech.”

A Facebook page for someone claiming to be Erick Almandinger says he attends Valley Pathways School, and that he formerly went to Colony High School.

A State Troopers spokesman said he couldn’t confirm if Grunwald was heading to see Almandinger the night he went missing. Tim Despain said that at this time, Troopers would not be releasing any more information about the case.