FBI Investigating After Oklahoma Man Killed On Virginia Hiking Trail

Tuesday, May 14th 2019, 10:42 pm
By: News 9

The FBI is investigating the death of an Oklahoma man who was killed while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. 

According to investigators, James Jordan had a troubled past and attacked Ronald Sanchez Junior after approaching several hikers.

Just last month, Jordan was arrested after he reportedly intimidated some hikers in Tennessee. He was released from jail after paying a fine and placed on probation.

“This guy has been causing problems along the Appalachian Trail not only in my county, but in Green County and Maddison County as well,” said Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley.

Hikers were placed on high alert after others had crossed paths with Jordan.

“I've had customers back before this even happened. I had a couple guys stayed with me that told me he came into their camp and he was running his mouth,” said hotel owner Larry Riddle.

Just last month Jordan was arrested for threatening people with a large knife.

“Hikers were calling it a machete, it is a very large knife,” said Hensley.

In an affidavit, an FBI agent said Jordan approached four hikers multiple times Friday in southwestern Virginia, singing, playing his guitar and making noises. Jordan also allegedly threatened to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death.

The agent said two hikers got away, but Jordan stabbed Sanchez, who later died, and a female hiker, who survived.

In a statement, The Oklahoma Hiking Association said in part, "A thru trail like the AT has so many people from all walks of life on it from all over the world, it's almost like walking down the street, it's purely a random act by an individual that we will probably never know what triggered his actions.”

“It saddens me because it was just senseless,” said a hiker.

“We push ourselves to the limit, and then you have people that come out and do this and it’s a very sad factor,” said a hiker.

Federal prosecutors have charged Jordan with murder and assault.