Bodies of Two Women Found in Shenandoah National Park
LURAY, Va. (AP) _ The deaths of two hikers whose bodies were found at a campsite near the Appalachian Trail are being investigated as homicides, authorities said.
The bodies of Julianne Williams, 24, of St. Cloud, Minn., and Lollie Winans, 26, of Unity, Maine, were found Saturday at the northern end of the Shenandoah National Park by park rangers.
Officials would not say how the women were killed but said they may have been dead several days before their bodies were found.
Denise Mitten, executive director of Woodswomen, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based adventure travel organization, said the women were well acquainted with the outdoors and worked for the group last summer.
The deaths were being investigated by the FBI and the National Park Service.
Extra rangers were dispatched to contact hikers and let them know what had happened, park service spokesman Ron Fankhauser said Monday.
``We’re preparing something on general safety for those people using the back country,″ he said.
Six years ago, two people were killed on the Appalachian Trial near Duncannon, Pa. Paul David Crew was convicted in 1991 in the deaths of Molly LaRue, 25, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and her fiance, Geoffrey Logan Hood, 26, of Signal Mountain, Tenn.
Thousands of hikers each year trek the Maine-to-Georgia trail.