July 26, 2013

Maine search for missing hiker to resume Saturday

The Warden Service is still looking for the 66-year-old woman who was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

By JESSE SCARDINA Morning Sentinel

There was still no sign of a Tennessee woman last seen Tuesday night on the Appalachian Trail in northwestern Maine, as search efforts wound down for the day Friday evening, said Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service.

He said in a news release that the search for Geraldine Largay will continue Saturday morning, and planning would go on tonight at a command post established at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Carabasset Valley.

The last time anyone reported seeing Largay, 66, was Tuesday at the trail's Spaulding Mountain lean-to in Mount Abram Township. The search is concentrating on the area between there and Wyman Township. MacDonald said there are many trail crossings and overlapping roads between those two points.

The previous reported sighting was Sunday on Route 4 in Sandy River Plantation.

Largay, who began hiking the trail in April in Harper's Ferry, W.Va., about 950 miles by trail south of Rangeley, sent a text message to her husband Monday at 7:15 a.m., when she said her next stop was the Spaulding Mountain lean-to. She was supposed to meet him in Wyman Township on Monday but never arrived.

A hiker called the Stratton Motel on Wednesday and said she was traveling in the opposite direction, but she and Largay both spent Tuesday night at the Spaulding lean-to. Wardens continue to seek more information about the identity of the hiker who reported seeing Largay.

Largay is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighs 115 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black pullover shirt, tan pants, blue hat and carried a green-and-black backpack.

Largay's husband, George, was keeping track of Largay via cellphone text messages and has made preplanned stops to resupply her, including the Wyman Township stop. The 2,200-mile trail goes from Springer Mountain in Georgia to the summit of Mount Katahdin. Mount Katahdin is 201 miles from the Spaulding lean-to.

Helicopters were used Friday, but the Warden Service couldn't use its fixed-wing aircraft because of low cloud cover.

Police ask anyone with information about Largay to call the Public Safety Dispatch Center in Augusta at 800-452-4664.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

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