10 June 2015

Authorities positively identify hiker as Jenny Bennett, friends start memorial wall on GoSmokies

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have positively identified the body found in the Greenbrier area of the Great Smokies as that of 62-year-old Jenny Bennett of Sylva, NC. She was reported missing by her brother Peter Bennett of Bozeman, Montana when she wasn't at home on the day she was supposed to be moved to Vermont.
Jenny Bennett (from her blog)

He believed she had been on a final hike before leaving on May 30 or 31. Movers were supposed to show up on June 1 and her landlord called her brother on Saturday, June 6, when she was officially reported missing.

Bennett was an avid off-trail hiker in the Smokies and was also a published author and blogger. One of her older blog sites is jennybennett.net, where she chronicled her off-trail hiking adventures in the Smokies, and more recently she published the hiking blog Endless Streams and Forests. She published a murder mystery, Murder at the Jump Off, set in the Smokies, and a contemporary fiction novel, The Twelve Streams of Leconte.

GSMNP Spokesperson Dana Soehn reported that there is currently no suspicion of foul play and said there were no obvious signs of animal attack. Bennett's vehicle was found at the Porters Flats trailhead Sunday night and her body was found about 9:30 Monday morning about a half-mile above backcountry campsite 31 off-trail following an intensive search. Her cause of death has not yet been released.

Bennett was a member of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club and also an avid contributor to the GoSmokies blog site, where shortly before she went missing her posts were deleted. Her hiking friends have started a memorial site there to honor their friend and fellow hiker, Remembering Jenny Bennett.

You can read earlier reports on her disappearance by scrolling down to previous blog posts as events unfolded.

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