Journal Reveals Lost Hiker Survived for Weeks

'When you find my body, please call my husband George'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2016 3:29 AM CDT
Updated May 26, 2016 6:00 AM CDT

A lost hiker in Maine starved to death after waiting for rescue and then accepting her fate, heartbreaking journal entries have revealed. Geraldine Largay, a 66-year-old from Tennessee, disappeared while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine on July 22, 2013, and the newly disclosed journal shows that she survived for at least 26 days, the Portland Press Herald reports. "When you find my body, please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry," she wrote in an Aug. 6 journal entry. "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." The final entry was dated Aug. 18. Her skeletal remains were discovered in a tent 3,000 feet from the trail more than two years later.

Largay, who was trying to complete a "bucket list" hike from West Virginia to the trail's end solo after a friend left for a family emergency, was reported missing by her husband after she failed to make it to a rendezvous point. A huge search and rescue effort followed, but it was suspended after a week. According to a 1,579-page Maine Warden Service report, Largay became lost after leaving the trail to go to the bathroom, the Boston Globe reports. She tried to text her husband at least a dozen times, but she was unable to get a signal even after moving to higher ground. She then set up a campsite on a knoll, where authorities found a handmade flag and evidence she had tried to start a signal fire. On Oct. 18, 2015, a week after a forester found her body, her husband of 42 years and other family members joined wardens in a hike to the site, where they left a cross and family mementos. (Two "lost" hikers in North Carolina were found in a town 30 miles away.)

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