AUGUSTA — The Maine Warden Service has confirmed that remains found in the woods on Oct. 14 are those of lost Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay.

The chief medical examiner determined she died an accidental death because of lack of food and water and environmental exposure, according to a news release issued Friday afternoon.

Largay’s remains were found in Redington Township by a contractor doing a forest survey on property owned by the U.S. Navy. The 66-year-old from Tennessee had been missing since late July 2013 and extensive searches had turned up no sign of her.

Cpl. John MacDonald said the Maine State Police Computer Crime Lab examined the cellphone found with Largay’s remains and found she had “reached Orbeton Stream and the discontinued railroad bed crossing in the late morning of July 22, 2013. Shortly after reaching that intersection, she continued north on the Appalachian Trail and at some point left the trail and became lost. The exact location where she departed the trail is unknown.”

Largay’s family issued a statement Friday: 

“We wish to thank all of those who gave their time and prayers while searching for our wife, sister, mother, and grandmother. We especially would like to thank the entire Maine Warden Service for their dedication to this case.

“It became apparent from day one that this was personal to them and they would not rest until Gerry was found. After all of the communication and information from everyone involved, including the Medical Examiner’s Office, Navy, and the Maine Attorney General’s Office, these findings are conclusive in that no foul play was involved and that Gerry simply made a wrong turn shortly after crossing Orbeton Stream.

“Now that we know her death was an accident, we again ask all media for the respect of our privacy as we continue our grieving process with this new chapter of closure.”


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