The Maine Warden Service said it is certain that the remains found in Redington Township are those of missing hiker Geraldine Largay.
The announcement came Friday afternoon as investigators gave an update on one of Maine’s most challenging searches.
A contractor working in the area found the skeletal remains and a lot of personal items the Maine Warden Service said belonged to Largay.
They were found on U.S. Navy land, and while waiting for the official identification, the Maine Warden Service said they’re sure it’s the missing hiker.
The last known image of Largay was taken July 22, 2013 along the Appalachian Trail.
“Later that day she texted her husband and advised she was on the top of Saddleback Mountain,” said corporal John McDonald, of the Maine Warden Service.
She was supposed to meet her husband the next day, but she never made it.
“Due to the location of the remains and evidence gathered at the scene, the Maine Warden (Service) feels confident that Geraldine has now been located,” McDonald said.
The 66-year-old set out on the trail 2 1/2 years ago from Harpers Ferry West Virginia, using the trail name Inchworm. Her destination was Baxter State Park.
“Her husband kept track of her and made several pre-determined stops to resupply her,” McDonald said.
She left him at their last stop on Route 4 in Rangely on July 21, 2013. She stayed at Poplar Lean-To and was headed to the next Lean-To, eight miles away.
Her remains were found 3,000 feet from the trail.
“The remains will be examined to determine the cause of death, although investigators do not believe foul play is involved at this time,” McDonald said.
K-9 search crews covered the dense area several times, never discovering what was off the trail.
“Why they didn’t locate her?” Lt. Kevin Adam said. “Don’t know at this point.”
The Maine Warden Service said the day is bittersweet, because it marks the end of years and miles searched for Geraldine Largay.
“It’s a happy sad day,” Adam said. “We’re glad that we found her, but it’s also a sad day for the family for the realization that their loved one is deceased.”
The remains are with the medical examiner, who will make the official identification of the body. Once that’s complete, it will be released to the family.
SOURCE: Kyle Jones