AUGUSTA, Maine — The search for a missing Tennessee hiker ended Tuesday without success and will resume Wednesday.
Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said Tuesday morning that a team of 60 searchers continued their efforts to locate Geraldine Largay, 66, who was last seen on July 21.
An experienced hiker, Largay had been hiking the Appalachian Trail since April, according to previous reports. for the past several months.
Largay’s plan was to meet her husband on July 22 in Wyman Township, an Unorganized Territory in Franklin County, MacDonald said. He said that Largay sent a text to her husband at 7:15 a.m. on the appointed day but never arrived at their meeting place.
“Due to limited professional [search and rescue] organization availability during weekdays, we have begun to organize an intensified search strategy with the expected upcoming weekend resources,” MacDonald said in an update Tuesday night.
“We have received considerable support for volunteer search assistance and we appreciate it greatly,” he said. He added, however, “The logistical and physical challenges associated with this remote search area restrict our ability to use searchers without formal training provided by professional SAR organizations.”
MacDonald said that Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Chandler Woodcock and Maine Warden Service Col. Joel Wilkinson will evaluate on a day-to-day basis the most appropriate direction in which to proceed and search for the missing woman.
“As we move forward, we will continue to field calls and investigate all leads,” MacDonald said. “Wardens need help in finding the caller responsible for contacting the Stratton Motel on Wednesday, July 24, at approximately 5 p.m. The unidentified female caller made a statement regarding ‘inchworm’ (Largay’s trail name) being overdue in meeting with her husband, George.”
MacDonald said game wardens also are looking to speak with any hikers who may have stayed at or hiked past the Spaulding Lean-To on the Appalachian Trail on July 22 or July 23.
On Monday, the search area was narrowed to a 14-mile section of the Appalachian Trail extending between Lone Mountain in Mount Abram Township to Route 27 in Wyman Township, MacDonald said earlier this week.
Game wardens are also searching in a nine-mile section of the trail between Lone Mountain to the Caribou Valley Road intersection, the corporal said.
One Maine Warden Service aircraft, Civil Air Patrol ground searchers, Mahoosuc SAR, Franklin County SAR, two members of Acadia National Park SAR, and Maine Search and Rescue canine teams headline the search party, according to MacDonald.
Anyone with information regarding Largay or the unknown female hiker who called the Stratton Motel is asked to call the Augusta Public Safety Dispatch Center at 207-624-7076 or 1-800-452-4664.
Bangor Daily News reporter Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.
Correction: An earlier version of this story requires correction. The search for Ginny Largay entered its sixth, not seventh, day on Tuesday.