More than 60 searching for missing hiker along Appalachian Trail

By Ann Bryant, Sun Journal
Posted July 26, 2013, at 1:38 p.m.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — The search for a missing Tennessee woman hiking the Appalachian Trail continued Friday morning with about 60 game wardens and searchers looking for Geraldine Largay.

Largay failed to meet her husband as planned on Monday in Wyman Township, Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said.

The warden service is also seeking information about another female hiker who called and told a Stratton Motel employee that she spent Tuesday night, July 23, with Largay at a lean-to on the trail.

Along with wardens and searchers from the Maine Association of Search and Rescue, a Maine Forest Service helicopter is being used Friday morning, MacDonald said. The wardens’ fixed-wing aircraft cannot be used because of cloud cover.

A command post has been set up at the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, he said.

Search efforts are concentrated on the trail north of the Spaulding lean-to in Mount Abram Township toward the Route 27 crossing in Wyman Township, he said. Numerous overlapping roads and trails are between those two points.

Largay, 66, known as Gerry, is from Brentwood, Tenn. She 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, a blue hat and was carrying a black and green backpack.

On Thursday, wardens learned that an unidentified woman called the Stratton Motel on Wednesday. The caller indicated she was traveling south on the trail and Largay was working her way north when both stopped at the lean-to, according to the Warden Service.

Rain was apparently heavy on the trail Tuesday. Wardens suspect Largay may have waited the day out at the lean-to before restarting her hike north on Wednesday morning.

Largay was last seen on Route 4 in Sandy River Plantation on Sunday. She intended to meet her husband Monday in Wyman Township and did text her husband at 7:15 a.m. that morning but never arrived at their meeting place.

Largay started hiking the Appalachian Trail in Harpers Ferry, W.V., and intended to hike to Baxter State Park, wardens said Friday morning.

Her husband, George, keeps track of her and makes pre-determined stops to provide supplies for her.

Wardens say she departed from the Route 4 AT crossing in Sandy River Plantation near Rangeley Sunday morning. Later that day her husband received a text where she told him she was on top of Saddleback Mountain. She planned to stay at the Poplar Ridge lean-to in Redington Township Sunday night.

A text Monday morning stated she was headed north on the trail and her next stop would be the Spaulding Mountain lean-to.

Largay is an experienced hiker who has supplies. She has had no previous incidents so far on her hike, MacDonald said.

The Maine Warden Service needs to talk with the unknown female hiker about this incident, he said.

Anyone with information about either Largay or the unknown hiker is asked to call Augusta Public Safety Dispatch at 1-800-452-4664.

abryant@sunjournal.com

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/26/news/lewiston-auburn/more-than-60-searching-for-missing-hiker-along-appalachian-trail/ printed on April 24, 2014