Details: Missing Hiker Geraldine Largay's Remains Found

Published May 26, 2016

The remains of AT Hiker Geraldine Largay were found on 10-14-15.

The remains of AT Hiker Geraldine Largay were found on 10-14-15.

Corporal John MacDonald, public information officer with the Maine Warden service, announced on Friday morning, October 16, 2015, that they believe the remains of missing Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay (aka "Inchworm) were discovered on Wednesday, October 14th in Redington Township.

Positive identification will be confirmed by the Medical Examiner's Office, a process that can take weeks. The Maine Warden Service (MWS) "feels confident that Geraldine has now been located ... due to the location of the remains and evidence gathered at the scene."

Who Was Geraldine Largay?

Geraldine "Gerry" Largay, whose Trail name was "Inchworm" because she hiked slowly, was 66 years old at the time of her disappearance,

She was a skilled and experienced hiker, and former nurse. Gerry had been on the Trail since April, when she began her northbound Appalachian Trail trek at Harpers Ferry, WV.

Inchworm's husband George kept track of her along the way and met her frequently for resupply.

Gerry Largay mysteriously vanished from one of the most rugged sections of the 2,189 mile Appalachian Trail on July 22, 2013. After dozens of intense search and rescue efforts by official and unofficial experts and amateurs, no trace of Inchworm had previously been found.

The mystery of Inchworm's disappearance struck a nerve with hikers and flatlanders across the globe. Many officials said, "People just don't disappear."

A TV episode of a program about Maine's Warden Service on Animal Planet featured Gerry Largay.

October 16, 2015 News Conference Details

Details emerged at a news conference held at 1:00 PM EDT, Friday, October 16, 2015 at the Maine Department of Public Safety Building in Augusta, Maine.

When Gerry Largay Was Found

Gerry Largay's remains were found Wednesday morning October 14, 2015 by a contractor conducting a forestry survey as part of an environmental impact statement on property owned by the US Navy in Redington Township. The contractor reported his findings to the Navy and they subsequently alerted the Maine Warden Service.

Where Geraldine Largay Was Found

Maine Warden Service graphic of Geraldine Largay's final location

Maine Warden Service graphic of Geraldine Largay's final location

The general spot where she was discovered is west of the Maine Public Reserve Land that contains a portion of the Appalachian Trail (AT) and is about 3,500 feet (two-thirds of a mile) east of the easterly shore of Redington Pond (see accompanying topographic map).

The United States Navy operates a covert Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School, affiliated with the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, on 12,500 acres in Redington Township, portions of which are adjacent to the Appalachian Trail.

MWS game wardens, State Police detectives, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) special agents, and a Medical Examiner's Office representative hiked to the scene of the remains Thursday morning, October 15th.

The Kennebec Journal is reporting Gerry's body was found "two to three miles straight behind Poplar Ridge lean-to, where she was last seen."

What Authorities Found at the Scene

Evidence at the scene where Gerry Largay was found included skeletal remains and several pieces of clothing and belongings consistent with items known to be in Largay's possession. The remains will be examined to determine the cause of death although investigators do not believe foul play is involved at this time.

Details of Gerry Largay's Disappearance

Remains of Missing AT Hiker Geraldine "Inchworm Largay" were Located 10-14-15

Remains of Missing AT Hiker Geraldine "Inchworm Largay" were Located 10-14-15

After meeting her husband on Sunday morning, July 21, 2013, Geraldine Largay entered the Appalachian Trail at the Route 4 crossing in Sandy River Plantation, near the town of Rangeley. Later that day she texted her husband and said she was on top of Saddleback Mountain.Geraldine was last seen on the early morning of July 22 at AT's Poplar Lean-to. The photo of Geraldine at the right was taken July 22 at Poplar Lean-to and is her last known picture.

The Poplar Ridge lean-to is several miles north of Saddleback Mountain. Gerry was planning to hike that day to Spaulding Lean-to in Redington Township, approximately eight miles to the north.

The following day, July 23, Inchworm planned to continue hiking north from Spaulding Lean-to, located in Mount Abram Township, to meet her husband who was waiting for her at the Route 27 crossing.

Geraldine never arrived at that location. Until October 14th, enormous search efforts yielded no clues that could be attributed to Largay's disappearance.

Maine Warden Service Track Logs in Search for Geraldine Largay

Maine Warden Service Track Logs in Search for Geraldine Largay

According to the MWS, the Largay family requests time to come to terms with this new information before making any further public statement.

They did, however, express gratitude to all hundreds of searchers and investigators who invested their time to search for Gerry.

The family has been in contact with Maine Warden Service investigators and has been updated routinely about searches and investigative leads regarding her disappearance.

We express our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Geraldine Largay.

We are thankful to Corporal John MacDonald for keeping AppalachianTrail.com updated about this story for two years.

To all the search and rescue teams: Thank you and God bless you all.

Background Stories on Geraldine Largay


Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Accidents, Rescues, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Hikers, Accident, Recreation, remains of geraldine inchworm largay located, body missing hiker largay found, missing appalachian trail hiker maine located, inchworm largay body found, gerry largay missing hiker located, and body hike lost in maine found

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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Comments
Purple Haze on Oct 16, 2015
I have followed this story since there was an excellent article about Geraldine Largay in the Boston Globe in December. That article raised some odd questions for me. It seems that Gerry was too experienced hiker to just go so far off course. She was bright eyed and looked very healthy in that photo from the morning of her disappearance. In the article from the Globe there was mentioned of a phone call from some mystery person saying, "tell her husband she's going to be late.". It just seems weird that a person would take such a wrong turn or get so far off course after making it all the way from West Virginia to Maine with no problems. Do the authorities just think she walked on to the Navy base or whatever it was and set up camp? I read in her hometown newspaper that her remains were found IN A TENT. Doesn't add up.
Just Wondering on Jul 24, 2016
Her journal indicates that she went off-trail to pee and couldn't find her way back. She apparently set up the tent after being unable to locate the trail. She probably died from exposure.
Vander42 on Jun 6, 2016
I didn't get to catch up to Inchworm on the trail, passing the areas which she had been a month later. All the details and stories about her disappearance were mysterious at the time.

I have deep and sincere sympathies about the loss of Geraldine and the circumstances surrounding it. However I am relieved to know that she has been found.

Loggerhead (AT 2013)