published Saturday, July 27th, 2013

130 search for Appalachian Trail hiker in Maine

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — About 130 people, some with dogs, horses, ATVs and aircraft, searched Saturday for a Tennessee woman who disappeared while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine.

Maine Warden Service Corp. John MacDonald said investigators made contact with some hikers who may be able help as they try to determine if Geraldine Largay, 66, of Brentwood, Tenn., was seen in an area of western Maine between two shelters.

It was sunny with temperatures in the low 80s as searchers, among them wardens, forest rangers, horseback teams, the U.S. Border and Civil Air patrols, looked for Largay.

Largay was supposed to meet her husband Monday in Wyman Township but never showed up.

The 5-foot-5, 115-pound Largay, an experienced hiker, was last seen wearing a black pullover shirt, tan pants, a blue hat and a black-and-green backpack.

MacDonald said investigators are trying to verify if Largay was seen between the Poplar Ridge Lean-To and the Spaulding Mountain Lean-To of the trail. They also need to verify if she stayed overnight at the Spaulding Mountain Lean-To Monday night into Tuesday morning. A command post was established at the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort.

Hikers along the Appalachian Trail are encouraged to adopt trail names; Largay uses “inchworm.” Investigators sought hikers with the names “Cowboy,” “Marathon,” Postman,” “Breeze,” “Paranoid,” “Crunchmaster,” “Harpo/Groucho,” “Ice Pack/SOBO ‘13,” “Luke 11:9,” “Sandman,” “BBTGR,” and “.com/Queen.”

MacDonald said investigators also are still trying to find a female hiker who reported staying at the lean-to in Spaulding with Largay on Tuesday night. The woman called a nearby hotel but didn’t leave her name.

Bear baiters in the area have been asked to be on the lookout for her.

Largay had started her hike in April at Harpers Ferry, W.Va., with a destination of Baxter State Park in Maine.

Her husband had been keeping track of her progress along the trail and was making pre-determined stops to replenish her supplies.

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