08 June 2015

Body believed to be that of missing hiker Jenny Bennett found in Greenbrier area of the Smokies

Investigators are being called in to positively identify a body that has been found in the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park believed to be that of missing hiker Jenny Bennett, 62, of Sylva, NC. Her brother, Peter Bennett of Bozeman, Montana, had reported her missing on Saturday, but she had actually been missing since sometime before June 1, the day she was supposed to meet movers at her home in Sylva for an impending move to Vermont.
Jenny Bennett (Photo from her blog)

Jenny Bennett (Photo by
Joe Guenther)
At 11:00 today, when Park officials were holding a media briefing at Greenbrier, Peter Bennett reported on his GoSmokies blog, "A body has been found that matches Jenny's description in the area that they were looking for her.  A team of investigators is being sent in to positively identify the body and determine what happened."

Search operations began early Monday morning. At 9:30 a.m. a body was found behind back-country campsite 31. Rangers said they strongly believe the body to be that of Bennettt, although a positive identification has not yet been made. Based on clothing and the location of the body, rangers felt it was indeed Bennett.

The Public Affairs Department of the GSMNP released the following at 11:44 a.m. Monday: "Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers believe to have discovered the body of reported missing hiker, Jenny Bennett, 62, of Sylva, NC in the Lester Prong area of Greenbrier above campsite 31 on Monday, June 8. It was reported to park officials on Sunday, June 7 that Bennett was missing and possibly in the park. Her vehicle was located at the Porters Flat Trailhead later that evening. An area wide search operation of trained man trackers was underway when she was found by rangers."

Bennett was an avid hiker in the Smoky Mountains and maintained a blog about her trips. She was a member of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club and often liked to hike off trail in the park.

Her brother believed she went missing when she had taken one last hike prior to her move last weekend. Great Smoky Mountains National Park personnel found her red car at the Porters Creek Trailhead last night and have focused their search in that area, which is the in the Greenbrier area of the Park.

Bennett, an avid hiker, author and blogger, is well-known to the hiking community for her toughness, preparedness and her love of off-trail hiking in the Smokies. She chronicled many of her outings on her blog, Endless Streams and Forests. She had mentioned in her last blog entry on May 27 that she had been experiencing depression and a bum knee, causing alarm for her fellow hikers, family and friends.
Jenny Bennett (Photo by Dave Landreth)

Many of her hiking friends felt she might be attempting to pay tribute to her mentor, Charlie Klabunde, whose memorial is a short hike from the Lester Prong headwaters and accessed from the Porters Creek Trailhead. In her blog she mentioned that she had tried to make the trip before but her knee had given out and she had to turn back.

National Park Spokesperson Molly Schroer said earlier today that a search operation was indeed underway in the Greenbrier area and that further details would be available at the media briefing. More details will be reported as they emerge.

Peter Bennett reported in a blog post on GoSmokies.com on Saturday that Bennett's landlord called him Saturday regarding his sister's whereabouts. "I received a call from her landlord in Sylva yesterday (Saturday, June 6) morning. The Jackson County Sheriff was there starting to do his investigation. She was supposed to meet the movers at her house in Sylva on Monday morning (June 1) to start her move north, but when the movers arrived she was not there. My sister in Massachusetts was expecting to see her on Wednesday, but Jenny did not arrive."

Peter Bennett reported today on the Hike the Smokies Facebook group: "I would like to clarify how the situation with my sister Jenny unfolded. I knew that she was going to be moving from NC to Vermont starting June 1 and I was thinking about her in that regard last week. I did not hear anything from her last week, but that is not unusual because we normally only connect when something important has happened. I did not have an idea that she was missing until Saturday June 6 when I received a call from her landlord in Sylva. He told me that her belongings were still at the house in Sylva, some things had been packed up to move and other things were still unpacked. He told me that the movers had arrived on Monday June 1 and she was not there."

He continued, "I talked with the Jackson County Sheriff deputy who was there and he told me they were going to treat this as a missing person case and start searching for her car. I told him that she was a member of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club and that she was probably up one of the trails in the area. I was told that the Sheriff's department was going to follow up and search the trail heads for her car. I gave the deputy my number and expected to hear back from them within a few hours. By the end of the day I still had not heard back from the Sheriffs department and I became more concerned. I contacted the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club through email and posted on the Go Smokies blog. It was only after I posted on the blog that people in NC and TN became involved and her car was eventually found at the Porter's Creek trail head."

More information will be reported as the investigation continues.

1 comment :

  1. I think a assignment help australia should acquire skill previously I provide them a document to do for me. I face for studys that different undergraduates retain accomplished forward selecting individual. They are optimum arranged in canvas a photo of what to await.