A Massachusetts guy is facing a federal murder charge after authorities alleged he assaulted a set of hikers with a machete on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, eliminating one and significantly hurting the other.
James L. Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, was arrested early Saturday following the lethal attack in Wythe County, Virginia, that a federal prosecutor explained Sunday as “senseless and harsh.”.
Jordan was arrested on the path after 2 hikers called the Bland County Constable’s Office and reported “a guy with a machete assaulting individuals,” according to the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office.
A motive for the attack is under examination by the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia, department.
The Wythe County Constable’s Office said deputies rapidly went to the Appalachian Path and discovered two badly hurt hikers, a male and a female. The victim’s names were not instantly launched and it was unclear which one had died.
Jordan was charged with one count of murder within the special maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and one count of attack with the intent to murder within the unique maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States, authorities stated.
The suspect is expected to appear in federal court in Abingdon, Virginia, on Monday, authorities stated. It’s uncertain if Jordan has actually maintained an attorney.
” I commend regional law enforcement in Wythe and Smyth Counties for mobilizing successful rescue and tactical operations in this remote area. Thanks to their efforts, the suspect was securely captured and the seriously wounded victim received vital healthcare,” Thomas T. Cullen, U.S. lawyer for the Western District of Virginia, stated in a statement.
” We will continue to deal with our state and regional partners to bring the wrongdoer of this ridiculous and ruthless attack to justice,” Cullen included.
The slaying was the first murder on the Appalachian Trail, a 2,160- mile wilderness path that extends from Maine to Georgia, considering that 2011 when hiker Scott Lilly, 30, of South Bend, Indiana, was killed and left in a shallow tomb in Amherst County, Virginia. No one has actually been detained in the homicide.
The most infamous murder on the Appalachian Trail happened in May 1981 near Pearisburg, Virginia, when the bodies of two hikers, Robert Mountford Jr. and Laura Susan Ramsay, both of Maine, were discovered in their sleeping bags. Mountford had been shot three times in the face, while Ramsay was stabbed consistently with a long nail, authorities said.
Randal Lee Smith was detained in the double homicide. He pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.
The slayings became the topic of the 1984 book “Murder on the Appalachian Trail” by author Jess Carr.
Smith was paroled in 1996 after serving 15 years of a 30- year prison sentence.
Smith returned to the Appalachian Path in May 2008 and was arrested for shooting and wounding 2 anglers near where he eliminated Mountford and Ramsey, authorities said. He later passed away in prison.
ABC News’ Ben Stein contributed to this report.