Hiker Missing for 8 Days Found Dead in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest

by Jennifer Shea
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More than a week after he vanished, hiker Chad Seger turned up dead in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest.

Searchers located Seger’s body at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday. They found him in the woods off the Art Loeb Trail in the Shining Rock Wilderness area.

Seger’s family reported Seger, 27, missing on October 16. They last heard from him on Monday, October 12, when he talked to a family member by phone.

In a press release, Haywood County officials said Haywood County Dispatch received an incomplete 911 call Monday night that could not be completed due to weak signal strength.

Haywood County Emergency Services said on its Facebook page that it is too early to determine a cause of death.

Emergency management spokeswoman Allison Richmond told the Asheville Citizen-Times that they found Seger’s empty gray Saturn Ion at the Black Balsam trailhead near the Blue Ridge Parkway. The area is a Congressionally designated wilderness area, and the trails are not well marked.

The Art Loeb Trail, which is nearby, runs for about 30 miles and is both one of the most popular and one of the most difficult trails in the forest, the Charlotte Observer reported. Backpackers often hike it for two to three days.

More than 400 people participated in the eight-day hunt for the hiker. Teams joined from as far away as Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, the Citizen-Times reported. 

Seger lived in Asheville, North Carolina. He was a Marine veteran who leaves behind a wife, Lori Seger.

“A lot of people have reached out with their prayers and their words of encouragement,” Lori Seger told WYFF earlier this week. “We really appreciate it and just want people to keep praying, keep sending their thoughts our way. We just really want to find him.”

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