Erick Almandinger’s father took the witness stand on the fourth day of his son’s trial for the murder of David Grunwald.

Rodney Almandinger testified Erick was skipping school in the fall of 2016 and there were nights when he didn’t stay at home.

Alaska State Troopers said Erick told them he had been staying at trap houses, or drug houses, occasionally.

Part of Rodney’s testimony centered around a series of messages he sent to Erick the night Grunwald went missing.

Rodney said he was first alerted by Ben and Edie Grunwald their son David hadn’t come home the night of November 13, 2016.

He messaged Erick at 10:18 that night saying, “You coming home tonight, since you didn’t tell me you were leaving.”

The messages initially seemed to indicate a sense of urgency, but not necessarily a sense of worry.

But within two hours, he’d sent 40 messages that went unanswered for hours.

"I said, ‘You better get a hold of me,' repeated that. Said, ‘This isn’t funny anymore.’"

Erick responded after midnight saying he hadn’t seen David at all that day.

“Hey sorry. I’m not with any david to be honest. Like I’m with some friends and I’won’t be home tonight sorry. Maybe I will be at school tomorrow. Hopefully if I can get a ride,” Erick wrote.

At one point in the conversation, Rodney asked Erick, “Hey did David Grunwald hang with you all at the trap houses this summer?”

Erick replied, “No he hangs with good kids.”

Rodney also messaged Erick the day after troopers found Grunwald’s burned Bronco, telling Erick, “No body though, so there’s still hope.”

Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak asked Rodney if the torched vehicle raised some concern about Grunwald missing.

“No, it did not raise anything really to me because they were not together, apparently,” Rodney said.

“Concerns for either one? For David Grunwald or your son?” Kalytiak asked.

“No,” Rodney said.

Almandinger’s trial resumes Tuesday, May 22.

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