GATLINBURG -- A 44 year old female was stabbed multiple times today in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The victim was on a trail close to the Sugarlands area. She was able to escape her attacker and make her way from the trail to Highway 441 where she flagged down a visitor who reported the incident to park dispatch at 2:43 p.m.
Rangers immediately closed the Gatlinburg Trail and contained an area between Sugarlands and the city of Gatlinburg.
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.
Rangers are working closely with the Gatlinburg Police Department to conduct a thorough search of the area in which the incident occurred. "We believe this was an isolated incident," says 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, 5'7" tall, with a crew cut and thin mustache. He is wearing black dress pants and a gray t-shirt. He has multiple tattoos, including one on his stomach.
There are no leads in the case at this time. Anyone with any information is asked to call the park dispatch emergency line at 865-436-9171.