A Massachusetts man allegedly stabbed two hikers on the Appalachian Trail, killing one, injuring the other.
James Louis Jordan, 30, was arrested Saturday after attacking a male and female hiker with a large knife. He’s been charged with murder and assault with intent to murder.
The victims’ names have not been released, but the man was confirmed dead, and the woman suffered severe stab wounds, according to authorities.
Reports surfaced of a man with a large knife and a dog who had threatened a group of four hikers on Friday night, according to The Washington Post. Two of the hikers fled north and, after losing Jordan, reported the attack to local sheriff’s deputies. In the meantime, Jordan reached the two victims who ran south, stabbing them.
The male victim was able to send off an SOS signal on his phone, sending his location to deputies before he died, while the woman escaped. “She pretended to be dead and when [Jordan] walked away after his dog, she took off running,” explained Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan.
The woman made it 6 miles before she stumbled upon another group of hikers who helped get her to the nearest trauma center.
Jordan, who authorities believe is also known as “Sovereign,” was apprehended after authorities spotted his dog. The animal led them back to Jordan, and authorities subsequently located a 20-inch knife on the trail before finding the male victim.
“Sovereign” was no stranger to hikers. Recent reports cite incidents in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, describing a similar machete- or knife-wielding man.
“He had a reputation because of his belligerence with other hikers in Tennessee and Georgia,” said Brian King, spokesman for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
Jordan was reportedly sentenced to probation, fined, and eventually released from custody after pleading guilty to multiple charges in late April, following threats he made against hikers, using his weapon.
The FBI is one of several agencies investigating the case, but was not immediately available for comment.
The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office was also not immediately available for comment.