Dying 66-Year-Old Hiker Wrote: ‘When you find my body, please call my husband’
A 66-year-old woman whose body went missing two years ago while she went hiking was discovered. She reportedly kept a journal that shows she had survived for nearly a month before she died.
Geraldine Largay, 66, from Brentwood, Tennessee, was hiking along the Appalachian trail in Maine with her husband. She allegedly stepped off the trail and got lost in the woods, where there was no cellphone reception. Largay reportedly tried sending text messages to her husband, but it didn’t work.
Largay then used a notebook and started writing entries.
According to the Boston Globe, she wrote at one part: “When you find my body, please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry. 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. Please find it in your heart to mail the contents of this bag to one of them.”
That message was written on a torn-out piece of the notebook.
— Michael Gabrill (@michael_gabrill) May 26, 2016
The bag she referenced included the journal and the phone she used.
The Globe reported that she survived for 26 days—and three weeks after officials suspended the search—after she was reported missing. It was one of the largest searches in Maine Warden Service history.
Officials said rescuers came within 100 yards of her several times, but her body wasn’t discovered until October of last year.
In a text sent at 11:01 a.m. on July 22, 2013, she wrote: “In somm trouble. Got off trail to go to br. Now lost. Can u call AMC to c if a trail maintainer can help me. Somewhere north of woods road. XOX.”
The next day, she texted: “Lost since yesterday. Off trail 3 or 4 miles. Call police for what to do pls. XOX.”
The last activity on her phone, according to wardens, was Aug. 6, 2013.
Her messages weren’t sent out due to bad phone reception. Where she was hiking was in a remote part of Maine.
“This is some of the worst country in Maine,” Deb Palman, who established the wardens’ K-9 search unit, told the Globe. “It’s hard to understand how logistically difficult this area was. On any given day, by the time a searcher would get close to where Largay was found, they’d have to turn around to make it back to their vehicles by nightfall.”
She was found in a heavily forested area around 3,500 feet east of of the easterly shore of Redington Pond.
“She would write in her journal every day with a day and a date and a passage,” Warden Lt. Kevin Adam wrote in a report on her disappearance, the Bangor Daily News reported. “The passages were consistent every day and there were written entries up to Aug. 10, 2013. There was nothing from Aug. 11-17. The last entry was dated on Aug. 18. We are unsure if this is a correct date or not.”