Man arrested after fatal machete attack on Appalachian Trail hikers

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.

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The Appalachian Trail
MONSON, ME - MARCH 20: In downtown Monson, a sign denotes the town as an Appalachian Trail Community. The town is the last stop on the trail before hikers enter the remote 100-Mile Wilderness and most hikers stock up on food and supplies before continuing on the trail. With the demise of the area's slate and furniture making industries, the Libra Foundation is buying properties in Monson with the hope of transorming it into a town for the arts. (Staff photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
A young woman takes in the view from the top of Mount Abraham, along the Appalachian Trail in Maines western mountains.
Appalachian Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the State of Virginia
Appalachian Trail Sign
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Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia, USA in the autumn season at sunset.
Appalachian Trail sign marking the distance to Clingmans Dome. At over 6,000 ft. Clingmans Dome is the highest point on the AT. Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tennessee.
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Appalachian Trail Approach Sign for 2018
A post provides information for Appalachian Trail hikers near a road crossing
A group of friends begin a three-day hike on the Appalachian Trail, starting in Grayson Highlands State Park at Elk Garden, on Highway 600. The first night will be spent near Mount Rogers.
A teenage girl makes herself tea on a tent platform in a wilderness campsite.
Distance sign on the Appalachian Trail at Carver's Gap on the Tennessee - North Carolina state line. Gives the distance to two overnight shelters as well as Hump Mountain and US Highway19E.More of my images from Appalachia:
Two friends, teenager girls, take selfies in front of the remote Delaware Water Gap and the border with Pennsylvania from New Jersey, with the remote view over the hills of Appalachian mountains and Christopher Columbus Highway. The drone elevated point of view.
A backpacker views mountains to be travelled in New Hampshire on his 3500 km. (6 month) journey along the Appalachian Trail in the eastern United States, a marked footpath from Maine to Georgia through the Appalachian mountain range.
Hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
A young girl passes through a moss covered trail in Maine.
Backpackers hike past a white stripe on the Appalachian Trail
Harper's Ferry, USA - November 11, 2017: Overlook with hiker people, couple women, colorful orange yellow foliage fall autumn forest with small village town by river in West Virginia, WV
A small, green snow covered sign points to the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains of New Hamp
a man stands on an overlook near great smoky mountains national park along the appalachian trail.

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.

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