Skeletal Remains Believed to Be Geraldine Largay Found on U.S. Navy Land
The Warden Service has released more details about the discovery of skeletal remains believed to be those of an Appalachian Trail hiker who has been missing for more than two years.
Corporal John MacDonald with the Warden Service says authorities feel confident that the remains belong to Geraldine 'Inchworm' Largay, age 66, who has been missing since July 22nd, 2013. Positive identification will be determined in the coming weeks by the Medical Examiner's Office.
The remains were found in Redington Township on the morning of October 14th by a contractor conducting a forestry study as part of an environmental impact statement on property owned by the U.S. Navy. The contractor told Navy authorities about his findings, who then alerted the Maine Warden Service. In response, Game Wardens, State Police Detectives, Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) special agents, and a Medical Examiner's Office representative hiked to the scene to view the remains Thursday morning.
MacDonald says the scene included skeletal remains and several pieces of clothing and belongings consistent with items known to be in Largay's possession. The remains were located west of the Maine Public Reserve land that contains a portion of the Appalachian Trail and about 3,500 feet east of the easterly shore of Redington Pond. They will be examined to determine cause of death but officials say the don't believe foul play was involved.
If the remains prove to, indeed, be Largay, the findings will bring closure to one of Maine's most unique and challenging search and rescue incidents. Largay started her hike on the AT in April of 2013 at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia with a destination of Baxter State Park in Maine. Her husband George kept track of her along the way and make frequent stops to resupply her. She was reported missing after failing to meet up with him on her way to the Spaulding Lean-to in Redington Township. She had texted George on July 21st from the top of Saddleback Mountain and was last seen at the Poplar Lean-to on the AT early in the morning on July 22nd. Several extensive searches, previously, had turned up no clues as to what happened to her.
The Largay family is asking for time to come to terms with this new information before making any kind of public statement, but they do want to express gratitude to all the searchers and investigators who have taken the time to search for Gerry.