MOUNT ABRAM TOWNSHIP, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Maine Game Wardens report that approximately 130 searchers have gathered to look for Geraldine Largay from Brentwood, Tennessee.
Wardens say Geraldine Anita Largay started her hike on the Appalachian Trail in April at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. She was headed for Baxter State Park, here in Maine. Officials say that her husband George keeps track of her along the way and makes pre-determined stops to re-supply her.
Wardens say on Sunday morning, she departed from the Route 4 AT crossing in Sandy River Plantation near Rangeley. Later in the day she had texted her husband to say she was on top of Saddleback Mountain. Officials say her plan was to stay at the Poplar Ridge lean-to in Redington TWP Sunday night.
On Monday morning she texted her husband again saying she was headed north on the Appalachian Trail. Her next stop was expected to have been the Spaulding Mountain lean-to.
Wardens say Largay is an experienced hiker who was prepared with supplies. She had no previous incidents up to this point on her hike.
A Maine Forest Service helicopter is being utilized in the search efforts. Officials have established a command post at the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort. Search efforts are concentrated on the Appalachian Trail north of the Spaulding lean-to in Mount Abram TWP toward the Route 27 crossing in Wyman TWP.
Wardens say that between those two points are numerous overlapping roads and trails.
Wardens continue to seek more information as to the identity of the female hiker who reported staying at the Spaulding lean-to with Geraldine Tuesday night.
Yesterday, wardens say they learned that an unidentified female hiker called the Stratton Motel on Wednesday, July 24. The caller indicated she was travelling south (opposite direction of Geraldine) on the Appalachian Trail and spent Tuesday night (23rd) with Geraldine Largay at the Spaulding lean-to. Officials say that the rain was heavy on Tuesday so they think that Geraldine waited out the rain in the Spaulding lean-to for the day. It is believed she continued on her way north Wednesday morning.
The Maine Warden Service is asking to talk with the unknown female hiker about this incident.
In a news release issued Saturday morning, wardens say they are also seeking information from hikers who use the trail names: "Cowboy", "Marathon", "Postman", "Breeze", "Paranoid", "Crunchmaster", "Harpo/Groucho", "Ice Pack/SOBO '13", "Luke 11:9", "Sandman", "BBTGR", and ".com/Queen".
Warden investigators say they need to speak with the listed hikers to determine and verify if Geraldine, who use the trail name "inchworm", was seen between the Poplar Ridge lean-to and the Spaulding Mountain lean-to on the Appalachian Trail.
Investigators also need to verify if Geraldine stayed overnight at the Spaulding Mountain lean-to Monday night July 22 into Tuesday morning July 23.
Wardens also want to inform bear baiters bating in the search area to be on the lookout for Mrs. Largay.
Anyone with information is asked to call Augusta Public Safety Dispatch at 207-624-6076 or 1-800-452-4664.
66-year-old Geraldine Anita Largay, "Gerry" is from Brentwood, Tennessee. She is 5'5" tall, weighs 115 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.