Captivating image shows feet of 3 surviving hikers involved in Virginia trail attack
A photo showing the feet of three hikers who survived a deadly attack on a Virginia hiking trail — including a woman from Nova Scotia — has been circulating online.
The photo, posted on Facebook by the group The Hiker Yearbook, shows six feet standing united in a circle. The post describes the photo as an image of the feet of “the three survivors” of last week’s attack along the Appalachian Trail.
“They are all doing well,” the post reads. “A little broken, but (nowhere) near defeated.
“They want to thank everyone in the hiking community for their love and support and let you guys know they are strong. Their collective message to the community is keep going, keep hiking and stay forever #ATstrong.”
The attack claimed the life of 43-year-old Ronald Sanchez Jr. and severely injured a woman from Nova Scotia. Two other hikers were able to escape the attacker.
Documents submitted in U.S. District Court in Virginia allege that James L. Jordan stabbed Sanchez to death and also stabbed a woman multiple times.
Jordan has been charged with murder and assault with the intent to murder.
The documents allege Jordan was “acting disturbed and unstable and was playing his guitar and singing.” He also allegedly threatened to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death.
When the hikers decided to leave, the document states that Jordan hunted them down, killing Sanchez Jr. and severely injuring the woman.
The document says the woman had to then hike another six miles to call 911.
The woman’s identity has not been released, but a Facebook post from a fellow hiker indicates her trail name was Toque and she had just finished her master’s degree.
“She was effusive about Canada and was encouraging all to come on a cycling trip to the Maritime provinces,” the post from a Michigan woman reads.
“She will be in the hospital for a long time.”
A vigil was held Thursday evening at a baseball field in Damascus, Va. A solidarity hike along the Appalachian Trail is planned for Saturday. Hikers are being encouraged to post photos and messages of support using the hashtags #ATStrong, #HikerStrong, #TrailFamily and more.
Hiking groups have said the entire event came as a shock as the Appalachian Trail has a reputation for being safe even for people who hike alone.
A crowdfunding campaign started by a fellow hiker has so far raised over $4,000.
—With files from the Canadian Press
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