A hiker survived for 26 days after disappearing off the Appalachian trail and wrote desperate journal entries and text messages that have only recently reached her family, according to documents newly released by the Maine warden service.
Geraldine Largay, known to her friends as Gerry, disappeared on 22 July 2013 after leaving the trail to use the restroom, wardens said in the report. Largay remained missing for over two years. The only clear clue investigators had was a photo of her, taken early the morning she went missing, near a log lean-to whose three walls are covered by a corrugated tin roof, a fire pit nearby.
The report, released on Wednesday as part of a public records request, details what wardens know of Largay’s final days – and what she herself wrote.
In a notebook entry dated 6 August 2013, two weeks after she lost her way, Largay made a desperate plea: “When you find my body, please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry,” she wrote. “It will be the greatest kindness for them to know that I am dead and where you found me – no matter how many years from now. Please find it in your heart to mail the contents of this bag to one of them.”
Largay’s husband George was not far away on the morning she went missing. He had driven to the Route 27 Crossing, about a 22-mile hike away from the shelter where his wife was last seen. Largay had committed to a “thru hike” of the 2,168-mile Appalachian trail, and had already traversed more than 1,000 miles. Like many hikers, she took a trail name: hers was “Inchworm”. Her husband met her along the trail for small reunions and resupplies.
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