By JESSE SCARDINA Morning Sentinel
Some two dozen people plan to continue looking for Geraldine Largay, the missing Appalachian Trail hiker, with the aid of search dogs in the coming weeks.
Largay, 66, from Tennessee, was reported missing July 24 while hiking the Appalachian Trail from West Virginia to Maine. After a week of extensive searching, the Maine Warden Service scaled back the search but left the investigation open and welcomed any new leads.
"We will continue to search as long as we can reasonably believe that we can find something," Cpl. John MacDonald said Thursday, adding that any chance at closure for Largay's family and friends is worth the search. "It still hasn't been too long, and if there is the likelihood that we can find something, we will search. That's what we do."
While no new leads were reported, according to MacDonald, the search will pick up in a couple of weeks with about 25 searchers and some search dogs. The warden service also has put up posters at popular trails and hunting locations in the area, showing a photo of Largay and details about her and her disappearance.
"Every case is different, and we're certainly not closing this one," MacDonald said. "As time goes on, we'll continue searching, weather and schedule permitting."
The news of Largay's disappearance has spread among hikers who continue to call or email wardens, MacDonald said.
"The hiking community is tightly knit, so I get the feeling that word about Largay has spread," MacDonald said. "Many hikers are more diligent, looking for anything that could help while they're hiking."
Largay's last confirmed sighting, according to the warden service, was on July 22, when an unidentified female hiker took a picture of her at the Poplar Ridge lean-to. MacDonald said the female hiker provided useful information that helped narrow Largay's potential whereabouts, but he would not say anymore about the woman.
He also said the warden service has contacted hiker Trevor Pike, whose father wrote in a blog that Pike had interacted with Largay, but he wouldn't comment further.
He said the information is kept confidential because of the ongoing missing-person investigation.
George Largay was planning to meet his wife July 23 in Wyman Township for supplies, but after a day passed with no sign of his wife, he reported her absence.
Largay started her hike in April, 950 miles south in West Virginia and was about 200 miles from the Appalachian Trail's northern end, Mount Katahdin's Baxter Peak, when she disappeared. The warden service said 98 percent of people reported missing are found within 48 hours.
Jesse Scardina can be contacted at 861-9239 or at: