A Massachusetts man is accused of attacking hikers on the Appalachian trail with a machete

A trail sign at Clingmans Dome, a major scenic viewing point along the Appalachian Trail.

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A trail sign at Clingmans Dome, a major scenic viewing point along the Appalachian Trail.
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Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

  • James Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, is accused of killing one hiker and injuring a second in a machete attack on the Appalachian Trail on Saturday morning.
  • Officials in Wythe County, Virginia, said they found a male hiker stabbed to death after he sent an emergency notification on his cellphone.
  • The female hiker who had been hiking with the man was also attacked. Authorities said she walked six miles while bleeding until she could find help.
  • The hikers, who were a man and a woman, have not been publicly identified.
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A Massachusetts man is accused of killing one hiker and injuring a second in a machete attack on the Appalachian Trail, authorities said on Sunday.

James Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, faces a murder charge and one charge of assault with intent to murder following Saturday’s incident in Virginia, the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia said in a joint news release.

The hikers, who were a man and a woman, have not been publicly identified.

A DOJ spokesperson told WSLS that hikers reported a man attacking people with a machete on the trail early Saturday morning.

Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan told WSLS that authorities found a male hiker stabbed to death after he sent an emergency notification on his cellphone.

“They pinged it on the Wythe County side of the trail. So, the phone company notified us and that’s when we went up there and found the suspect and the victim,” Dunagan said. “We had our whole [tactical] team out there, so he wisely just surrendered himself.”

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The female hiker who had been hiking with the man and was also attacked, walked six miles while bleeding until she could find help.

Jordan, who is also known by his trail name “Sovereign,” has previously been accused of threatening behavior along the trail, according to WJHL.

Police said he threatened hikers with an ax on the Appalachian Trial in Tennessee in April. He was arrested and pleaded guilty to criminal impersonation, drug possession and public intoxication.

The DOJ said in a statement that the investigation into Saturday’s incident is ongoing.

“I commend local law enforcement in Wythe and Smyth Counties for mobilizing successful rescue and tactical operations in this remote region,” US Attorney Cullen said in the statement. “Thanks to their efforts, the suspect was safely apprehended and a seriously wounded victim received critical medical care. We will continue to work with our state and local partners to bring the perpetrator of this senseless and brutal attack to justice.”