She went off the trail for a quick second to use the bathroom. Little did she know, that mistake would be fatal.
A husband and daughter had been grieving over their 66-year-old mother/wife for 2 years without a clue as to what happened to her, until one day someone stumbled upon her remains in the woods. What they found in her bag brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
Geraldine Largay kept a journal in her final days of survival. The last entry she made revealed that she lived for a month in the wilderness before passing away in her tent. When she was found they discovered a heartwrenching note left for her husband and daughter. In the letter, she begged whoever found her to call her family and let them know she’d died.
On one torn-out page, dated August 6, Largay wrote: ‘When you find my body, please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry.
‘It will be the greatest kindness for them to know that I am dead and where you found me – no matter how many years from now.
‘Please find it in your heart to mail the contents of this bag to one of them.’
Inside the bag was her cellphone and the journal.
In a 1,500-page report into her death, seen by the Boston Globe, the Maine Warden Service reveal Largay attempted to text her husband after getting lost, but the messages never went through because of poor reception.
Wardens believe Largay went to higher ground in an attempt to get better signal before making camp on a raised knoll.
Her kit, which included a tent, Mylar blanket and rain gear were all used during her almost month-long ordeal before she died from lack of food and exposure.
Her skeletal remains were discovered last year by the Maine Warden Service on October 16 on property owned by the U.S. Navy in Redington, three miles away from where she was last seen.
Following her disappearance, the Warden Service launched one of the largest and most extensive search operations in its history in order to try and track her down.
The search area covered 23 square miles and involved teams of wardens and volunteers scouring the terrain.
At one point a dog crew led by wardens came within 100 yards of her campsite, according to the Portland Press Herald, but her remains were not discovered.
Wardens say the fact that the remains were inside a sealed tent likely meant the dogs were unable to pick up on her scent.
Her remains were eventually found after two surveyors doing environmental work stumbled upon her campsite by accident.
The area where she was discovered was described as being so densely forested that only trained wardens had been allowed to search there.
The property where Largay’s body was recovered is part of a U.S. Navy’s survival skills training facility.
The Navy uses the area for its Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program and as such it is remote and not easily accessible.
The warden service said in a statement that the search for Largay was ‘one of Maine’s most unique and challenging search and rescue efforts’.
This is horrific! We see things like this happening in movies, but if it were to happen to a loved one, words wouldn’t be able to describe the pain. Her family thanked everyone involved and asked that their privacy be respected.