July 29, 2013

Searchers puzzled by why hiker vanished

The case of Geraldine Largay, who disappeared on the Appalachian Trail last week, is an anomaly.

By MICHAEL SHEPHERD Kennebec Journal

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Lt. Kevin Adam of the Maine Warden Service goes over the route of the agency’s search for Geraldine Largay, 66, the hiker from Tennessee missing on the Appalachian Trail.

Michael Shepherd/Kennebec Journal Staff Writer

"Some of those are very problematic to get down into the bottom of," he said. "We've got to do it, but why would she do it?"

Odvody, the hiker from Waynesville, N.C., who goes by the name "Kaleidoscope" on the Appalachian Trail and said she has hiked half of it in her life, said the section of trail between Route 4 and Route 27 is "way more dangerous" than many other sections of the trail.

"If you go like six inches over, you can fall into forever and ever and ever-land," said Odvody, ending a 65-mile, weeklong series of hikes at the Route 27 crossing in Wyman Township on Sunday.

Wardens have said Largay is 5-foot-5 and weighs 115 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black shirt, tan pants and a blue hat and carrying a black-and-green backpack.

Her husband, George Largay, shook a reporter's hand at the warden service's command post, saying he shakes hands with each person helping to find his wife.

But he declined an interview and returned to a warden service trailer, where Adam said wardens were keeping four family members in case they find belongings of Largay's that need identifying.

"They're hopeful and very concerned that their wife, mother has been missing for multiple days in the woods of Maine," Adam said. "And I would be, too."

Late last week, George Largay told Portland television station WCSH that if lost, his wife would "use a lot of common sense to give herself the best chance of getting rescued," and he would "call in the cavalry and throw in everything, including the kitchen sink, to find her in one piece."

Until wardens find Largay, Adam said it's hard to speculate as to what happened to her. He said he is worried she is dead or injured because of the natural hazards off the trail, but there is also a chance she is still walking.

Addressing the possibility of foul play, he said wardens haven't found any sign of violence, and crime on the Appalachian Trail, especially in Maine, is rare.

Odvody, hiking the last portion of her trip alone, said the possibility of violence doesn't cross her mind on the trail. She's more worried about falling and getting injured.

"I never feel afraid in the woods," she said. "This trail is so safe and there's so much community."

Michael Shepherd can be contacted at 370-7652 or at:

mshepherd@mainetoday.com

 

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