July 27, 2013

Hiker confirms seeing missing Tennessee woman on Appalachian Trail

Authorities want to talk to others who were on the Appalachian Trail to help find a missing Tennessee woman.

Kennebec Journal

Wardens are seeking to contact at least one trail hiker who said he saw Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay of Tennessee on Monday.

Geraldine Largay

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Sgt. Jeff Spencer and Maine State Police Detective Lenny Bolton hike toward Spaulding Mountain from the summit of Sugarloaf as part of the search for missing hiker Geraldine Largay on Saturday.

Maine Warden Service

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Largay, 66,was last seen Tuesday at the Spaulding Mountain lean-to. The search for her began Thursday.

The father of Trevor Pike, 18, whose trail name is "Crunchmaster," wrote on the hiker's progress blog: "Trevor does recall meeting Gerry on the trail on Monday somewhere between Spaulding lean-to, where he ate lunch, and Poplar Ridge lean-to, where he stayed Monday evening. ... He does not recall the exact location where their paths crossed." 

Pike is hiking south on the trail. The department thanked a Facebook user who pointed them to the blog post.

The Maine Warden Service was seeking to contact Pike, who is also from Tennessee, as well as hikers using the trail names "Cowboy," "Marathon," "Postman," "Breeze," "Paranoid," "Harpo/Groucho," "Ice Pack/SOBO '13," "Luke 11:9," "Sandman," "BBTGR" and ".com/Queen," according to a news release.

Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald said Saturday investigators have made contact with some of the hikers they are looking for as they try to determine and verify if Largay was seen between the Poplar Ridge Lean-To and the Spaulding Mountain Lean-To of the trail.

They also need to verify if she stayed overnight at the Spaulding Mountain Lean-To Monday night into Tuesday morning.

About 130 people, including the Maine Warden Service, dog teams, the Maine Association for Search and Rescue, U.S. Border Patrol and Civil Air Patrol members, on ATVs, on horseback and in aircraft, searched the area around Spaulding Mountain, to the east of Rangeley, according to the warden service.

It's there that the warden service suspected Largay, who was last heard from on Monday, went missing.

MacDonald also urged people setting bear bait in the area to keep an eye out for Largay.

The 5-foot-5, 115-pound Largay, an experienced hiker, was last seen wearing a black pullover shirt, tan pants, a blue hat and a black-and-green backpack. She started her hike in April at Harpers Ferry, W.Va., with a destination of Baxter State Park in Maine.

Her husband had been keeping track of her progress along the trail and was making pre-determined stops to replenish her supplies.

The release asks those with information to call the Public Safety Communications Center in Augusta at 207-624-6076 or 800-452-4664.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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