The case of the deceased hiker who went missing from the Appalachian Trail in Maine in 2013 gets curiouser and curiouser with news of Geraldine Largay's journal.
On May 25, 2016, in response to formal Freedom of Information Act requests from several major news agencies, the Maine Warden Service released over 1,500 pages of documents related to the search which began after Gerry Largay, 66, seemingly vanished on July 22, 2013.
The most astonishing news, thus far, pertained to a journal attributed to the hiker from Tennessee known as "Inchworm." Dated entries indicate Largay made notes for 26 days after she supposedly left the Trail that she had been hiking all the way from Harpers Ferry, WV, to urinate and got lost.
Later, information released says Geraldine Largay attempted to send text messages almost a dozen times to her husband from higher ground. She evidently did not get a strong enough signal for her cell phone, contents of which were retrieved by authorities.
One plea is especially heartbreaking:
"When you find my body, please call my husband George ... and my daughter Kerry. It will be the greatest kindness for them to know that I am dead where you found me -- no matter how many years from now."
Other text messages sent in vain:
The last entry in Largay's journal was on August 18, 2013, although it is possible that she lost track of days.
How hundreds of searchers on dozens of organized and volunteer missions over a period of two years failed to connect with Inchworm before her remains were found in October of 2015 is sad and troubling.
Disorientation happens. Things go wrong in the woods, quickly and fatally. Yes, lost hikers are often told to stay in one place and conserve energy, and wait to be rescued. Other sources say to wait until morning and hike toward the rising sun, in search of a creek to follow toward a lake or river.
Even hiking at one mile per hour, the 3,000 feet of rough terrain that separated Geraldine from the Appalachian Trail could have been traversed in little more than half an hour. If she knew which direction to travel and if there was a viable path. And if ... a hundred other ponderances.
May Geraldine Largay's journal bring peace to her family in the days and years ahead.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Accidents, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Hikers, Accident, geraldine largay missing appalachian trail, Hiking Safety, remains of geraldine inchworm largay located, and geraldine largay journal
Published May 26, 2016. The Maine Warden Service believes the remains of missing Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay were located on October 14, 2015. Here are the details.
Geraldine Largay, an experienced hiker and nurse, vanished from the Appalachian Trail two years ago on July 22, 1013. Where is the lady we called Inchworm?
Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay, whose Trail name was "Inchworm" due to her speed, disappeared from the Trail in Maine one year ago. Where is she?
Searchers scoured the Appalachian Trail in Maine looking for missing hiker Gerry Largay, aka "Inchworm." They say, "She's not there."
Maine's Office of Chief Medical Examiner used DNA analysis to positively identify the skeletal remains of Geraldine Largay, found on October 14, 2015.
Read the State of Maine's Medical Examiner's report of the death of Geraldine Largay here.
Published Oct 16, 2015. After 2 years, 2 months & 24 days, the remains of Geraldine "Inchworm" Largay (the hiker who vanished from the Appalachian Trail in Maine) were located.
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Maine Wardens returned to the Appalachian Trail to search for Gerry Largay, aka "Inchworm." Again, they found no new clues.