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- A woman survived a machete attack on the Appalachian Trail by playing dead after she had been stabbed, and waiting for her alleged attacker to leave.
- She went on to walk six miles while bleeding from her injuries, before she eventually reached safety.
- James Jordan, 30, was arrested and charged with murdering one hiker and assaulting another hiker with the intent to murder her.
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A woman who survived a machete attack on the Appalachian Trail played dead while she fell to the ground with stab wounds, then walked six miles while bleeding before she reached safety, according to an affidavit from an FBI investigator.
The accused assailant, 30-year-old James Jordan, was arrested Sunday and charged with murdering one hiker and assaulting another hiker with the intent to murder her. The victims’ names have not yet been released.
Documents from the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia alleged in grisly detail how a threatening encounter between Jordan and four hikers on the trail escalated into a brutal stabbing.
By the time the group spotted Jordan on the trail, they already knew who he was, according to the documents. The hikers had seen on social media that he was suspected of threatening another group on the trail in Tennessee just last month.
Jordan approached the group, “acting disturbed and unstable” while he sang and strummed his guitar, the documents said. He returned to them later that evening, “making noises” at their campsite and speaking through the walls of their tents – threatening to douse them in gasoline and burn them to death, the hikers alleged.
When the hikers grew afraid, they decided to pack up and leave. That’s when Jordan approached them with a knife, the documents said. The group split up and Jordan chased down two of the hikers, but he returned to the campsite where the other two remained, and started arguing with the male, according to the affidavit.
Jordan then stabbed the man’s upper body while the female hiker watched, the victims alleged. As the man fell to the ground, she turned and fled, running until she was exhausted. But Jordan soon caught up with her.
“She turned to face Jordan and raised her arms as if to surrender when Jordan began stabbing her,” the court documents said.
She fell to the ground and “played dead” until Jordan left the scene and went to find his dog. The woman then ran down the trail until she found another two hikers, and together they trekked an additional six miles, despite her injuries, until they could call 911.
A tactical team found Jordan the next morning with blood stains on his clothing, and the body of the male victim still lying at the campsite, the documents said.
Jordan appeared in court for the first time on Monday, and has been detained ever since. He has been ordered to undergo a mental competency evaluation within seven days, according to the documents.
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