VA - Man Attacked Hikers with Machete on Appalachian Trail, May 2019 *Arrest*

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by Gardener1850, May 11, 2019.

  1. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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    WYTHEVILLE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia sheriff says a man attacked two people on the Appalachian Trail with a machete.

    WJHL reports that the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Saturday saying two hikers reported that a man with a machete was assaulting people on the trail in Wythe County.

    A man and a woman were injured. Their names and conditions weren’t immediately available. Deputies arrested a male suspect, whose name wasn’t released.

    Sheriff Keith Dunagan previously said the man was assaulted early Saturday in Wythe County and the woman in Smyth County.

    Virginia sheriff: 2 assaulted on Appalachian Trail | WTOP
     
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  2. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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    SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA (WJHL) - UPDATE - Wythe County Sheriff's Keith Dunagan confirms that two people were assaulted overnight on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

    Dunagan says one male was assaulted in Wythe County and a female was assaulted in Smyth County.

    The sheriff says crews were able to locate a victim and the person reportedly responsible for the attack from a phone ping.

    The identity of the people attacked, and the suspect has not been released at this time.

    The Wythe County Sheriff's Office issued the following statement:

    "On 5/11/2019 in the early morning hours it was reported to this agency that there was a male subject assaulting hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Two hikers reported to the Bland County Sheriff's Office that there was a man with a machete assaulting people on the Appalachian trail in Wythe County. There was a male and female injured in the assaults. Wythe County deputies made entry onto the trail and arrested the male suspect. The Appalachian trail runs through the Western tip of Wythe County. The trail is closed on the Smyth and Bland ends coming into Wythe.

    Sheriff: Man in custody after attacking 2 people with machete on AT
     
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  3. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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    The male victim was found in Wythe County and the female victim was found in Smyth County. Deputies do not yet know if the victims were together or whether there were two separate incidents.

    The suspect surrendered to a tactical team, Dunagan said, and is now in jail in Wythe County.

    The sheriff's office would not release the suspect's name. Deputies are waiting on charges for the suspect and there could potentially be charges from the U.S. Forest Service.

    Dunagan described the incident or incidents as "isolated." He confirmed that there were no more than two victims. He said one victim was located by tracking a cellphone using GPS technology.

    Virginia State Police confirmed to 10 News that troopers have assisted in the investigation. The U.S. Forest Service and FBI are also assisting.

    As of 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, the trail remained closed on the Smyth and Bland County ends coming into Wythe.

    The section of the Appalachian Trail that runs through Wythe County is about a mile long and is located in the west region of the county.

    Forest Service officials said about 18 miles of the Appalachian Trail was expected to stay closed until 6 a.m. Sunday. The closure is about from the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area office to the Eastern Divide Ranger District boundary.

    The map below shows the approximate location of the Wythe County victim.

    Google Maps

    Two assaulted on Appalachian Trail, Wythe County deputies investigating
     
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  4. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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    ALERT: TRAIL CLOSURE IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
    (5/11/2019 updated 12:30 pm) The Appalachian Trail is officially closed from Va. 16 at Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area Headquarters (mile 534.2) trail north to Va. 42 (mile 558.2) near Ceres/Groseclose due to ongoing incidents under investigation by the US Forest Service in Wythe County. If you have any information to report to authorities, please contact the Wythe County Sheriff at (276) 223-6000. More information will be posted when it becomes available.

    The Appalachian Trail Conservancy - Trail Updates
     
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  5. Trudie

    Trudie Well-Known Member

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    Well thank goodness the lunatic is in custody.
    As the weather improves he would have had unlimited victims, imo.
     
  6. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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  7. alexwood

    alexwood Well-Known Member

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    Oh, lovely. Just when I was thinking how wonderful it would be to hike the AT, sleeping out in a tent under the stars . . ..
     
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  8. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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    The first sign of trouble came when two hikers reported to the Bland County Sheriff’s Office that they were threatened early Saturday morning by a man with a machete. The attack on the other two hikers apparently happened later.

    Wythe County deputies entered the trail, which runs through western tip of the county, and made an arrest a short time later.

    Such attacks on the trail are unusual.

    “A.T. hikers are a strong and resilient family, but this rare tragedy shakes us all to our core,” said Andrew Downs, a Roanoke-based regional director for The Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

    “Our hiking family must come together to help those who are suffering from this unthinkable evil. The trail is a place of healing, of peace and a community that can be relied on in this time of great need.”

    A portion of the trail remains closed while an investigation continues. The Virginia State Police, the U.S. Forest Service and the FBI are cooperating with the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office.

    Dunagan said authorities are trying to determine if anyone else was attacked. There were no such confirmed cases by late Saturday afternoon, but the sheriff said teams were still out on the trail.

    Two hikers attacked on the Appalachian Trail in Wythe County, Va.
     
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  9. Trudie

    Trudie Well-Known Member

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    Bring your weapon of choice. And a nice dog for a companion. I’ve met my share of freaks on AT but luckily I avoided this one.
     
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  10. alexwood

    alexwood Well-Known Member

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    Right. At a minimum, I'd be carrying "Wasp and Hornet Spray"!
     
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  11. mrz

    mrz Active Member

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    Thank goodness kids weren't there. What the heck? Thats must have been seriously scary for the hikers. Would have been great if one of the victims was carrying. MOO
     
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  12. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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    Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan said his tactical team arrived on the trail in the wee hours of Saturday morning to search the area after law enforcement received emergency cell phone signals from someone on the trail.

    Dunagan said investigators knew the suspect to be accompanied by a dog. Around 3 a.m. while they were talking to a group of campers, investigators noticed a dog come running out of the woods and were able to follow it to its owner.

    Dunagan said the suspect, who has not yet been identified, will likely face federal charges.

    Barry Garten, the area ranger for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest in the Mount Rogers region, confirmed that a portion of the trail was closed where it crosses state Route 16 to the south and state Route 42 to the north.
    ...
    While the investigation continues, Dunagan said he believes there is no further threat to the public.

    Dunagan said the case appears to be connected with a similar incident reported last month in Unicoi County, Tennessee.

    On April 23, Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said a man named “Sovereign” was threatening hikers on the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee and North Carolina. He had a pit bull, as well as a knife or machete.

    Hensley’s officers eventually arrested the man on several charges. He was later released on probation.

    Police: Machete used in attacks on the Appalachian Trail

    BBM.

    :eek: Sounds like he did this in April and they released him on probation?!?
     
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  13. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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    May 11 at 11:12 PM

    Two hikers were attacked on the Appalachian Trail in southwest Virginia by a man with a large knife, authorities said.

    Sheriff William K. Dunagan of Wythe County said a female victim was seriously wounded but expected to survive. In a telephone interview Saturday, he provided no information on the second victim, who is male.

    Dunagan said that a person had been taken into custody on the trail and that no motive was known. Early accounts of the attack described the weapon as a machete, but the sheriff said it would be better described as a large knife.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...ory.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.03edf197e615
     
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  14. doodles1211

    doodles1211 Well-Known Member

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    Wonder if he has any other victims that may not have been found yet? FBI being involved if this is just an "unusual" event along the trail?
     
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  15. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    I hope they don't release him so quickly this time. Does anyone think he is going to stop doing this?
     
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  16. AshleyAnn

    AshleyAnn New Member

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    I know!!! Hiking trails is something our family enjoys all spring, summer, and fall. My husband and our boys are preparing for an overnight hike It makes me super nervous, and THIS is why!
     
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  17. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

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    Exactly. Both my grown kids and their families hike and camp quite often. It really scares me now too.
     
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  18. Jabarn

    Jabarn Well-Known Member

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    An individual who spoke on condition of anonymity said he encountered Jordan in Johnson City, Tennessee, and that Jordan referred to police as “soldiers” and expressed the need to keep moving for fear of being caught.

    https://www.backpacker.com/news-and-events/appalachian-trail-attack

    Norman said he met Jordan in Roan Mountain, Tenn., on May 3, and offered to buy him lunch. He said it was clear to him Jordan was mentally ill.

    Jordan told him he was “on a mission to protect the mountain people from the infiltrators trying to steal their insurance,” Norman recalled. “He said the mountain people are good people but at night, the infiltrators would come. His mind was not normal.”


    Norman soon learned that Jordan’s dog was a service animal and that he had family in Maryland. He said decided to drive Jordan about 30 miles northwest to Johnson City, Tenn., and bought him a bus ticket. He said he wasn’t sure what other options he had.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...673edf2d127_story.html?utm_term=.50c2abc1874a
     
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  19. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Well-Known Member

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Sunday, May 12, 2019
    Arrest Made in Deadly Appalachian Trail Stabbing
    James L. Jordan Faces Federal Murder, Assault with Intent to Murder Charges
    Abingdon, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and David W. Archey, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division, announced today an arrest in a deadly stabbing incident that occurred along the Appalachian Trail in Wythe County, Virginia that left one person dead and another severely injured.

    James L. Jordan 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, was arrested in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 11, 2019 on a federal criminal complaint. Jordan is charged with one count of murder within the special maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States and one count of assault with the intent to murder within the special maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

    “I commend local law enforcement in Wythe and Smyth Counties for mobilizing successful rescue and tactical operations in this remote region,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated today. “Thanks to their efforts, the suspect was safely apprehended and a seriously wounded victim received critical medical care. We will continue to work with our state and local partners to bring the perpetrator of this senseless and brutal attack to justice.”

    This investigation is ongoing. The federal charges against Jordan will be officially filed in U.S. District Court in Abingdon Monday morning. The defendant will have an initial court appearance in federal court in Abingdon on Monday, May 13, 2019.

    A criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Arrest Made in Deadly Appalachian Trail Stabbing
     
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  20. roguelady

    roguelady Active Member

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