A 44-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and then stabbed several times while hiking along the Gatlinburg Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park yesterday.
The victim was taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. She remains in the hospital and is in stable condition.
The woman managed to make her way to Highway 441 shortly before 3 p.m. and flag down a passing motorist.
Rangers immediately closed the 1.9-mile Gatlinburg Trail and contained an area between the Sugarlands Visitor Center and the city of Gatlinburg.
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 is asked to call the park dispatch emergency line at 865-436-9197.