Victim of Deadly Appalachian Trail Attack Identified

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Ronald S. Sanchez Jr., 43, of Oklahoma, died of injuries sustained during an alleged violent machete attack that occurred along the Appalachian Trial on May 11, 2019. Another victim was injured.

James L. Jordan 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, was arrested in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 11, 2019 on a federal criminal complaint. Jordan is charged with one count of murder within the special maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States and one count of assault with the intent to murder within the special maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

James L. Jordan

MassLive reported: “Jordan began randomly approaching the hikers’ tents, making noises and threatening the hikers,” FBI Agent Micah Childers said. “Jordan spoke to the hikers through their tents and threatened to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death.”

When the four hikers decided to leave, Jordan allegedly ran after two of them with a knife.

Authorities said he returned to the campsite and began stabbing a man. A woman, who watched as the attack unfolded, ran away. Childers said Jordan chased down the woman and stabbed her several times.

The woman played dead.


“I commend local law enforcement in Wythe and Smyth Counties for mobilizing successful rescue and tactical operations in this remote region,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated today. “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.”

A motive for the attack remains unknown.

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