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Maine's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Maine | NewsCenterMaine.com

Hiker found dead on summit of Katahdin identified

Baxter State Park officials identified the hiker as Nathan Leigh Bell, 27, of Walkersville, Maryland

MILLINOCKET, Maine — The body of a hiker was found Thursday, Oct. 8 at approximately 10 a.m. on the summit of Katahdin in Baxter State Park. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Baxter State Park officials identified the hiker as Nathan Leigh Bell, 27, of Walkersville, Maryland. Officials say there was no evidence of foul play and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is investigating the cause of death.

Park officials say Bell's clothing and equipment were insufficient for a prolonged stay in the foggy, rainy, and sub-zero conditions Wednesday evening on the mountain. 

Bell's body was reported Thursday via a 911 call at about 11:30 a.m. Park rangers were alerted shortly after that and launched a recovery mission flown by the Maine Army National Guard.

The Maine Army National Guard UH60L Blackhawk landed atop the mountain at 3:44 p.m., and rangers helped load the body into the helicopter. 

His body was transported to Caribou Pit on the Park’s southern border at 4 p.m. Lawson Funeral Home transported the body to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta. 

“This is the second death of a hiker on Katahdin in as many days. On behalf of Baxter State Park staff, I extend the sincerest condolences to families of these two individuals," Park Director Eben Sypitkowski said.

On Wednesday, former editor for the Boston Globe, Donald MacGillis, 74, was hiking with his nephew on Knife's Edge Trail on Mt. Katahdin before falling and later dying from his injuries.

"The mountain is a formidable place, especially as winter approaches. I ask everyone visiting us this fall and winter to please be safe, set an early turnaround time and stick to it, and always carry sufficient food, water, and clothing."