James Alan Cattley

Body of hiker missing since September found in Virginia national park

The body of James Alan Cattley was discovered in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park after he went missing on September 14, 2022.

A body was found in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and rangers suspect it to be a hiker who went missing on the Appalachian Trail since September.

Rangers have been searching for James Alan Cattley, 66, of North Garden, Virginia, since he was reported missing, according to the National Park Service.

“Based on a preliminary identification of remains found on Monday, January 2…the investigation into missing person James Alan Cattley has been suspended,” the park said in a January 3 news release.

“The body was transported to the Augusta County Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification and determination of cause of death,” the Shenandoah National Park statement added.

It should be noted that the discovery was made at 11:20 a.m. on January 2 “in the southern part of the park,” not far from where Cattley left his vehicle, authorities said.

His car was found Dec. 14 in the Turk Mountain parking area as rangers were closing off nearby Skyline Drive ahead of an ice storm.

Cattley submitted an inland travel permit on Sept. 22 “for seven nights on the Appalachian Trail with an expected departure of Oct. 6,” the park reported.

Investigators have not said why Cattley was not reported as missing until more than two months later. His North Garden home is about 40 miles south of the park.

A 101-mile section of the Appalachian Trail runs through Shenandoah National Park, much of it paralleling Skyline Drive, where Cattley’s car was found.

Melissa Galbraith
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