A Massachusetts man faces a murder charge for a horrendous crime committed on the Appalachian Trail. He was arrested for allegedly attacking two hikers on the Appalachian Trail with a machete, leaving one one dead and the other severely wounded, federal authorities said Sunday.
James Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, also faces one count of assault with the intent to murder in the Saturday morning incident, according to a joint news release from the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.
Jordan faces federal charges because the stabbing occurred on federal land in the southwestern corner of Virginia.
The victims were a male and female, Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan said Saturday, but he did not disclose their identities nor provide details about the attack.
Federal authorities said the woman had been “severely injured,” and Dunagan told NBC affiliate WSLS that she walked six miles after the stabbing before finding other hikers and calling for help.
Hikers told Wythe County deputies that a machete had been used in the stabbing, the station reported.
Authorities received a call about the stabbing between 3:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday, according to the station.
In a separate incident last month, Jordan was arrested after threatening hikers on the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee, according to NBC affiliate WCYB.
After being charged with criminal impersonation and drug possession, he was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay fines, WCYB reported.
Jordan has allegedly been menacing people on the trail, which is in the midst of its high season, for weeks.
“He was well-known,” said Brian King, a spokesman for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which manages the trail through 14 states with two federal agencies. “The trail has always had a fantastic grapevine.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if Jordan has a lawyer.