Federal authorities continue to investigate after an Oklahoma man was brutally stabbed while hiking on the Appalachian Trail over the weekend in Southwest Virginia.
The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office identified the hiker as Ronald S. Sanchez Jr., 43, of Oklahoma City, who died Saturday of injuries sustained during a violent attack near the Wythe and Smyth county line.
Federal authorities, who have charged James L. Jordan, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, with murder and assault, said they ensured proper notification had been made to the victim’s family before releasing the information.
The incident, which also resulted in serious injuries against a woman who has not been identified, remains under investigation. She was taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center and was last listed in stable condition.
A records check shows Sanchez lived in multiple locations across the country near U.S. Army bases, but it’s not known whether he’s affiliated with the military.
Authorities said Jordan stabbed both hikers multiple times after first threatening them while they were resting in their tents at a campsite. Multiple people contacted law enforcement in Smyth, Wythe and Bland counties that night to report that Jordan, who goes by the trail name “Sovereign,” was terrorizing hikers. Officers eventually located Sanchez’s body, the female hiker and Jordan.
Jordan remains held without bail at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon. He appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Abingdon on Monday, when the judge ordered him to undergo mental evaluations.