Green Outdoors: Searchers hope for "miracle"

7:05 PM, Aug 5, 2013   |    comments
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  • Gerry Largay

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Searchers say it will take a miracle to find Geraldine Largay. The 66-year old was hiking alone on Maine's Appalachian Trail when she vanished without a trace two weeks ago. Hundreds of searchers covered enormous amounts of difficult back country and found nothing.

Maine is a good place to get lost.  99.5% of lost people are found. The state also boasts expert Search and Rescue organizations. Largay's disappearance has left the professionals perplexed and their resources exhausted.

In a mobile command unit, Lt. Kevin Adams of the Maine Warden Service supervised the search.  Mappers, communications experts and investigators clustered around computers as they compiled information about where Largay had been and used their expertise to predict where she went. 

"We can take a GPS, put the route we want covered in it and the searcher can take it with him," said Adams.

He did acknowledge that it was difficult to pinpoint where Largay got lost.  She did not sign in at lean tos, she did not use signalling devices and there has been no trace of her cell phone for two weeks.

Wardens lament that Largay did not have a signalling device with her.  "They make great satellite devices now that hikers can carry with them.  Their families can practically watch them hike the trail on their computers," Adams told NEWS CENTER.

Last week, wardens came to believe that Largay went off the trail between Lone Mountain and Spaulding Lean To.  It is some of the steepest and most difficult back country in Maine.

There was optimism that they would find the missing Tennessee woman over the weekend.  Organizers felt they had been able to limit the range where Largay might be.  One hundred fifty experts hit the woods for a final push, but again came up with nothing.

There is a general feeling that time has run out and that search teams and resources have been exhausted.

A minimal search continues using cadaver dogs. 

Without new information, it is highly likely that Geraldine Largay will be found alive.


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