A 44-year-old woman was attacked and stabbed several times Friday while hiking the Gatlinburg Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to park officials.
The unidentified woman managed to make her way to Highway 441 shortly before 3 p.m. and flag down a motorist, who reported the incident to park dispatch, a park release said.
Rangers immediately closed the Gatlinburg Trail and contained an area between Sugarlands and the city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
The victim suffered multiple stab wounds and was taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. She remained in the hospital and was in stable condition, the park reported.
Great Smoky rangers were working closely with the Gatlinburg Police Department to search the area. “We believe this was an isolated incident,” said Chief Ranger Clay Jordan. “Rangers have combed the area and believe the suspected has fled the area.”
The suspect is described as a white male of thin build, in his 40s, standing 5-foot, 7 inches tall, with a crew cut and thin mustache. He was wearing black dress pants and a gray T-shirt at the time of the attack, the park reported. He has multiple tattoos, including one on his stomach.
Anyone with any information was asked to call the park dispatch emergency line at 865-436-9197.