Authorities ID hiker killed in Appalachian Trail attack

Authorities ID hiker killed in Appalachian Trail attack
This Saturday, May 11, 2019 booking photo provided by the Washington County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office shows James L. Jordan, of West Yarmouth, Mass. Federal authorities say Jordan was arrested in an attack on the Appalachian Trail that left one person dead and another severely injured. He was arrested early Saturday and charged with murder and assault. (Washington County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An Oklahoma man was stabbed to death in an attack on the Appalachian Trail in southwestern Virginia, federal authorities said Tuesday.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen said 43-year-old Ronald S. Sanchez Jr. died of injuries he received Saturday.

James Jordan of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, has been charged with murder and assault with intent to murder for allegedly attacking Sanchez and a female hiker.

Authorities said Jordan had repeatedly threatened four hikers before chasing them with a knife. Two managed to escape.

Authorities have not identified the wounded female hiker, who remains hospitalized.

Hikers had complained to authorities in southwestern Virginia and in Tennessee in recent weeks about Jordan allegedly threatening them.

“The Appalachian Trail is a relatively safe environment, a refuge that welcomes more than three million users a year,” said Suzanne Dixon, president of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, in a news release. “Unfortunately, like the rest of the world, the trail is not absolutely safe.”

A statement from the conservancy said the attacks took place at the current location of the main “bubble” of about 3,000 persons attempting to hike all the way from Georgia to Maine this season.

A federal judge has ordered Jordan to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.