The Harrowing Moment Officials Discovered Remains of Missing Hiker Off Appalachian Trail
Two years after the search was called off for a missing hiker on the Appalachian Trail, rescue teams found her remains, and the harrowing moment was captured on tape.
According to the Maine Warden Service, Geraldine Largay was reported missing in the summer of 2013. Despite the search effort being one of the largest in the state's history, the 66-year-old woman was never found.
Though rescue teams called off their search, they never gave up hope.
During a recent filming of the Animal Planet reality series 'North Woods Law,' the Maine Warden Service was informed that a surveyor working on the property may have come across human remains near where Largay had gone missing in 2013.
The Maine Warden Service, accompanied by the 'North Woods Law' camera crew, set off to investigate the scene.
In a clip shared exclusively with InsideEdition.com, a game warden can be seen, eyes wide as they peeled back the tent that acted as Largay's final resting place.
Authorities said that when she died, at least two weeks after she lost her way on the Appalachian trail, she had set up a tent in a clearing, gotten into her sleeping bag, and died inside.
As police photograph the scene and confirm the driver's license they found with her belongings, a game warden is seen looking away, as if in shock.
"It's heartbreaking," Sgt. Scott Thrasher, a regular on the show, said in the video. "She was in a place just south of the trail that was kind of the last place we hadn't gotten to."
According to the clip, she was found just 3,000 feet away from the trail, or roughly a 10-minute walk.
A final note in her journal, released earlier this week by the Maine Warden Services, was dated two weeks after she had apparently gotten lost, although officials believe she had survived at least 26 days before succumbing to starvation and exposure to the elements.
The note read: "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.”
"There's nobody that wanted to bring her home more than we did," Warden Kris Maccabe said. "I really feel for the family."
It was her husband who had reported her missing in the summer of 2013, when she never arrived at their prearranged meeting point, the Boston Globe reported.
Because she lost cell phone reception, he did not know at the time that she attempted to send him a text message the day before that read, "Lost since yesterday. Off trail 3 or 4 miles. Call police for what to do, pls. XOX.”
For the full story, tune into 'North Woods Law', returning to Animal Planet on Thursday, June 2 at 9/8c.