A verbal altercation occurred between Jordan and the male hiker, who the FBI identified on Tuesday as 43-year-old Richard S. Sanchez Jr., of Oklahoma. Two of the hikers escaped, with Mr. Jordan in pursuit, according to the affidavit. “I done all I could do,” says Hensley. He said there was “sadness, with a little bit of trauma” among those who hike and work on the trail. The man accused of killing Appalachian Trail hiker Ronald Sanchez Jr. and severely injuring a female hiker in May 2019 has been declared competent to stand trial for murder, according to news reports. Now, 29 years later, Swift is shocked at the news of another killing. Jordan, who gave himself the trail name “Sovereign,” has been a known nuisance on the trail for several months. “The only thing I could do is go with the charges I had. But apparently he and his dog disembarked at the next stop. Many members of this disparate, determined and close-knit group yearn to disconnect from the world and find solitude on the trail, but they often depend on an online network of guides and social media groups to keep informed — and to stay safe. “They didn’t even see the person, and luckily they didn’t come out of the tent.”. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, Thanks for signing up! When the hikers arrived at a hostel a day or so later, they reported the incident to Mike Hensley, sherriff of Unicoi County, Tennessee, who interviewed them late that night. These are far from the only killings on the trail. I'm going to condense the past several days into one post and try to be more regular going forward. Original story: The multi-agency search for an Appalachian Trail hiker who went missing in Dawson County late last week is now continuing into a third day, authorities said Tuesday, Feb. 18. An emergency signal had been sent from a hiker’s GPS device on the Appalachian Trail. James L. Jordan, 31, appeared June 11 in US District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, where Magistrate Judge Pamela Sargent found that based on the findings of a mental health evaluation, … They are shown here at … It’s not that the length of the trail is unknown, but rather that the distance changes year to year, based on trail modifications such as switchbacks and reroutes. Previously, the incident report form was a … Looking for something else? Hikers shared photographs and descriptions of him on social media after he waved a knife and an ax at a shelter, Mr. King said. “The trail grapevine has always been robust,” Brian King, a spokesman for the conservancy, said. The deputies found blood on Jordan’s clothes and arrested him. Kathryn Miles May 14, 2019 James L. Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, appeared in federal court Monday, where he was charged with murder and assault with intent to … Then, on April 22, Jordan appeared at a road crossing where trail angels were handing out food to thru-hikers. The organization had also asked its ridge runners (people located along the trail to assist and answer questions) to alert hikers to possible encounters with Jordan. By comparison, the Pacific Crest Trail is longer (2,650 miles) although markedly younger trail … “We had our whole tac team up there, so he wisely surrendered himself,” said Dunagan. A man was charged with fatally stabbing a hiker and wounding another in Virginia. 1 / 2. To inspire active participation in the world outside through award-winning coverage of the sports, people, places, adventure, discoveries, health and fitness, gear and apparel, trends and events that make up an active lifestyle. I'm sure … Pinterest. Thank you. “The threats that Jordan was making were very much on our radar,” says King. The dog led them to its owner, James L. Jordan, who was standing about 30 yards away, according to Sheriff Keith Dunagan of Wythe County, who recounted the events on Monday. Jordan then began stabbing him in the upper part of his body as the female hiker, who has not been identified, looked on. After dinner, Norman says Jordan and his dog (who was wearing a service-animal harness) spent a night in a Tennessee motel. The attack unnerved the disparate but close-knit community of hikers on the 2,190-mile trail. 2019 Story: Ronald Sanchez Jr. was hiking the Appalachian Trail with three others when he stopped for the night at a shelter. HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — Authorities recovered human remains and the clothing of an unknown person Tuesday off the Appalachian Trail in Jefferson County, … “Please know that this could happen anywhere and you can’t live in fear. Updated May 24, 2019; Posted May 16, 2019 Geoffrey Hood and Molly LaRue were killed by Paul David Crews on the Appalachian Trail near Duncannon on Sept. 13, … An “expert” Pennsylvania hiker reported missing after entering the Appalachian Trail was found dead at the bottom of a 30-foot embankment, state police said. our entire suite of free newsletters here. In mid-April, he allegedly threatened several hikers at a shelter in Tennessee. On Friday, on a portion of the trail that veers into Smyth County in southwest Virginia, Mr. Jordan approached four hikers and acted “disturbed and unstable,” playing his guitar and singing, the affidavit said. Jordan then confronted them with a knife. More. Find more newsletters on our. According to the affidavit, when she saw her male companion fall to the ground, the female hiker attempted to run away. The team, tracking the GPS coordinates, found the hiker’s body, he said. Fatal Stabbing on Appalachian Trail Is Uncovered Thanks to GPS and a Dog. The dog approached them, the sheriff said. “What really got my attention was that one of the hikers said he told them, ‘It’s going to be a bad day for hikers on the trail.’” Upon hearing that, Hensley says he immediately deployed deputies, but they were unable to locate Jordan. He started yelling and … As he caught up to her, the female hiker raised her arms in surrender. The wounded hiker was transported to a nearby medical center in Bristol, Tennessee, where she is recovering from her injuries. Federal authorities have released the identity of a hiker who was stabbed to death in an attack on the Appalachian Trail in southwestern Virginia. After he left to find his dog, she ran down the trail and found other hikers who helped her hike six miles to safety, it said. Our Tax ID number: 526046689. Both the female stabbing victim and the two hikers who fled from Jordan identified him as the attacker. The woman who was with him ran, but Mr. Jordan caught up to her, the affidavit said. Jordan initiated a verbal argument with some of the backpackers there, who also alerted authorities. Jordan chased after her. The hikers said that Jordan was “acting disturbed and unstable, and was playing his guitar and singing.”. According to Hensley, hikers observed Jordan behaving strangely at a trailhead on April 21, asking thru-hikers for the password needed to get on the trail. The four hikers moved on, and later set up camp along a portion of trail that veers into neighboring Wythe County, but Mr. Jordan caught up with them, “spoke to the hikers through their tents, and threatened to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death,” the affidavit said. After Jordan left, the female hiker got up and continued to run down the trail, eventually coming upon a duo who were camping just off the trail. While the violent deaths are tragic, the Appalachian Trail overwhelmingly remains a place of beauty rather than brutality. James L. Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, appeared in federal court Monday, where he was charged with murder and assault with intent to commit murder after a bloody attack early Saturday morning on the Appalachian Trail left one hiker dead and another hospitalized. On Sunday, that section of trail was reopened, but hikers were encouraged to share information with the sheriff’s department. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a 501c3 organization. I will carry my mace spray with me.”. The suspect in the May 2019 Appalachian Trail murder case has been considered "not competent" to stand trial, according to a report from CBS affiliate WJHL. They set off into the forest and encountered other hikers who said they had been unnerved by a man who had talked to them during the night, trying to get them to unzip their tent so he could borrow a flashlight, Sheriff Dunagan said. Mr. Jordan’s public defender could not be reached for comment on Monday. “I have worked here 36 years and I don’t remember anything like this,” Sheriff Dunagan said. ... to burn them to death, the documents say. He was apprehended with a fake ID, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia. The suspect in a deadly machete attack against two hikers on the Appalachian Trail this weekend has been arrested, authorities said. The approximate length of the Appalachian Trail in miles. Alleged Appalachian Trail attacked James L. Jordan threatened to burn hikers to death, FBI says The suspect, James Louis Jordan, 30, of Yarmouth, … Mr. Jordan did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody, said Brian McGinn, a spokesman for the office. Then they found the body of the missing hiker, who had been stabbed to death. Norman recognized Jordan from his arrest photo, which had been widely circulated in the trail community, and invited Jordan to dinner. Check out our entire suite of free newsletters here. The attack took place around the time that aspiring “thru-hikers” set off at the start of the spring season. “He looked like a lot of the people come off the trail, kind of dirty” and smelling strongly, the sheriff said. Each year the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) compiles stats on how many people attempt and complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Jordan then left and returned to the campsite, according to authorities. The tactical team of the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office then began the four-mile hike to the crime scene. We hope you’ll support us. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. James L. Jordan, 30, has been charged with murder after he allegedly stabbed an Iraq War veteran to death on the Appalachian Trail last Saturday … Although you are still more likely to run into problems on the trail because of inclement weather or slipping and falling, violent crime on … Unlike previous cases of hikers being attacked or killed on the Appalachian Trail, one thing that appears to distinguish this one is that it was preceded by six weeks of complaints about Jordan’s behavior. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. According to the court documents, the tactical team also discovered a large knife, believed to be the murder weapon, in close proximity to the victim’s body. Because the Appalachian Trail is administered by the National Park Service, the FBI has the ultimate jurisdiction over crimes committed there. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. “I didn’t want to put him in anywhere near a trail town,” says Norman. They thought it was a little unusual,” said Wythe County sheriff Keith Dunagan at a press briefing on Sunday. Jordan, meanwhile, made his way back down the trail and approached another pair of backpackers who were asleep in their tent, shouting at them that he needed a flashlight. He pled guilty and was ordered to stay off the trail. Appalachian Trail Deaths The most recent, as of this writing, occurred in May 2019 when a crazy person – 30-year-old James L. Jordan of Massachusetts – stabbed two people, killing one and injuring the other. This year, 2015, according to the Appalachian Trail … The team followed it to Mr. Jordan, who was disheveled in khakis and a plaid shirt, Sheriff Dunagan said. “My intention was to get him off the trail for his own safety and the safety of other hikers.”. They recently updated their numbers for 2017, which provides an opportunity to look at some overarching trends. He returned to the campsite and began arguing with another hiker, fatally stabbing him in the upper part of his body, it said. That section of the trail was reopened on Sunday. The trail was conceived by Benton MacKaye, a forester who wrote his original plan—called "An Appalachian Trail, A Project in Regional Planning" —shortly after the death of his wife in 1921. You can only imagine the heartbreak the families of the victims had to go through. But as they tried to leave, Mr. Jordan approached them with a long knife, it said. Following Sanchez's murder, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy updated its website to make it easier to request help or report suspicious activity. Threats to burn hikers to death preceded Appalachian Trail knife attacks, FBI says. Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. The National Park Service referred all questions to the FBI, which did not know if any warnings had been posted, since that would have taken place before the crime. According to Hensley, none of the hikers who had been assaulted by Jordan in the April incident were willing to press charges or testify in court, so Jordan was arrested only for the fake ID and drug charges. The attack on the hiker, who has not been publicly identified, and his companion has unnerved denizens of the hiking world who meander through the wilderness of the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. According to the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, the incident began when Jordan approached a group of four hikers (court filings do not indicate how the four were connected) somewhere in Jefferson National Forest in western Virginia on Friday evening. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Hikers I spoke with said they did not see any warnings posted or any other alerts about potential violence in the region. Jordan appeared and began threatening the hikers in their shelters, saying that he was going to “pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death.” At that point, the four hikers decided to relocate their campsites. On Monday, hikers took to social-media sites, wondering why more had not been done—particularly given the number of thru-hikers in Virginia this time of year. Expert Hiker Found Dead at Bottom of Appalachian Trail Embankment 5 Days After Going Missing ... 2019 06:39 PM Advertisement. Mr. Jordan had been known to hikers and law enforcement agencies whose jurisdictions stretch along the trail since April, when he was accused of threatening people on the trail in Unicoi County, Tenn., the arrest affidavit said. James L. Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Mass., was charged in the fatal stabbing of one person and the wounding of another on the Appalachian Trail. More and … Our CFC number: 12230. That led the authorities to charge Mr. Jordan, a 30-year-old from West Yarmouth, Mass., in federal court on Monday with one count of murder and one count of assault with the intent to murder, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia said. So the deputies went into the forest to look for him. Matthew “Odie” Norman, a well-known former AT thru-hiker and founder of the Hiker’s Yearbook (a yearly record of hikers on the trail), encountered Jordan on May 2 at a trailhead near Tennessee’s Roan Mountain State Park. It was a pit bull mix and GPS coordinates that led to Mr. Jordan’s arrest. Many more murder victims lost their live on side trails near the Appalachian Trail, including Meredith Emerson in 2008. “So sad, but it will not affect my travels on the AT,” Robin Reinstein Lurie, a hiking guide in North Carolina, wrote on a Facebook page. Subscribe to our newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest outdoor news. There it found Sanchez's body, who died from his injuries, along with a dog which then led the team to the suspect. Norman says that, over dinner, Jordan told him that hikers—who Jordan called “the mountain people”—were being threatened by “infiltrators who were trying to steal their instruments” and that Jordan was remaining on the trail in order to protect the “mountain people” from harm. In the court documents, the hikers said that Jordan was “acting disturbed and unstable, and was playing his guitar and singing.” Later that night, the four set up camp a few miles from where the first encounter occured, in Wythe County, Virginia. Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today. Death on the AT - 75.10 Miles - From The Station at Route 19E To Damascus - Hey Everyone, I apologize for not keeping up with my posts. And so, on the night of May 10, Jordan allegedly prowled among the campers on the Appalachian Trail, threatening to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death… According to Norman, Jordan also said that he had family in Maryland. Sanchez made an emergency call from his cell phone. The two, along with Jordan’s dog, traveled 90 miles to Johnston City, Tennessee, to put him on the bus. He was also carrying a 17-inch survival knife. It’s unclear when or where he purchased the knife used to kill the hiker this weekend. Man arrested in Appalachian Trail machete attack May 13, 2019 01:33. There were bloodstains on the man’s clothing. May 16, 2019, 7:07 AM. message that the hiker’s hand-held GPS device had transmitted. A woman played dead so she could fend off a knife-wielding man accused of killing a hiker and threatening others in two separate incidents along the Appalachian Trail… The decision to do more to alert hikers to the potential danger Jordan posed rested with the National Park Service. At 6:14 on Saturday morning, the team arrived at the campsite where the first attack occurred. Two of the hikers ran north on the trail to escape. Homicides are rare on the Appalachian Trail, according to statistics; the last time the trail was the scene of a homicide was in 2011 when a man was … James L. Jordan approached four hikers somewhere in Jefferson National Forest in western Virginia on Friday evening. “They were real reluctant to just talk to him. As they stopped to talk to other hikers on the trail, a dog wandered up to the group. Early on Saturday, sheriff’s deputies in southwest Virginia received an unusual message. These two backpackers then helped the female victim hike six more miles to a trailhead, where they called 911. Brian King, the publisher at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and management of the trail), says that the ATC was well aware of the recurring complaints about Jordan and had been urging hikers to contact local authorities or call 911. “All this with the caveat that statistics mean absolutely nothing to the families and peripheral victims.”. On May 5, backpackers reported negative encounters with Jordan in and around Shenandoah National Park. The … ... May 16, 2019 10:07 AM Advertisement. ... May 11, 2019 … The knife was nearby. I knew this guy was a serious problem.” But news of his threatening behavior made its way up the trail, as reports of “Sovereign” harassing other hikers continued. That knife is being held in the evidence room at the Unicoi Sheriff’s Office. Jordan then began stabbing her. Dee Rybiski, a spokesperson for the FBI field office in Richmond, Virginia, confirmed by phone on Monday that that office’s Evidence Response Unit was gathering evidence on the trail. She turned to face him and raised her arms as if to surrender, but Mr. Jordan stabbed her until she fell to the ground and played dead, according to the affidavit. The Appalachian Trail has actually been the site of numerous murders and other gruesome deaths over the years. A companion of the hiker’s had also been wounded. 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