Gerry Largay

Gerry Largay

A report from the Maine Medical Examiner is providing new insight on the death of Appalachian Trail thru-hiker Geraldine “Gerry” Largay. And it’s raising questions as to why she wasn’t able to be rescued.

Largay, a 66-year-old hiker from Tennessee, was hiking the trail in western Maine in the summer of 2013. She was reportedly last seen by other hikers the morning of July 22, 2013, and she was supposed to meet her husband at Baxter State Park the next day. But she disappeared without a trace. Her remains weren’t discovered until October 2015 in Redington Township, Maine.

But the report from the Maine Medical Examiner doesn’t paint of picture of Largay being injured or of any struggle. Instead, according to a report on, it says she died of starvation and exposure and that her remains were found in her sleeping bag inside her tent.

The new details have raised questions as to how long Largay was alive and why she wasn’t found by rescuers.

In an article for the Bangor Daily News, writer Chris Busby raises the possibility that the area she was in wasn’t thoroughly searched because it was on land owned by one of the Navy’s SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) schools.

According to Busby, Largay’s remains were found inside the Navy facilities boundaries and next to an old logging trail. He says the area was reportedly not searched until August 8, which was 16 days after she was reported missing.

Read Chris Busby’s Bangor Daily News column on Geraldine Largay.