[UPDATE] Victim in Deadly Appalachian Trail Attack was a U.S. Army Veteran


Even more details about the gruesome Appalachian Trail attack have come to light after the victim’s family spoke to the public for the first time since the horrific events.

Authorities said the victim who was killed in an attack on the Appalachian Trail was 43-year-old Ronald Sanchez, a U.S. Army veteran from Oklahoma who often turned to the outdoors as a “form of therapy.”

His sister, Brenda Sanchez Loera, told CNN “He was adventurous and he got out of his shell and we were so proud of that because for a while he was in darkness.” Ronald Sanchez was killed in cold blood by James Jordan, who was arrested and charged in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, VA with one count of murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder.

Sanchez’s sister, along with his former wife, Elizabeth Kordek, said the Army veteran endured multiple injuries to his back and knees making the outdoor activities he used to enjoy much harder to participate in.

“He was in a cycling group, he was showing horses, and on a dragon (boat racing) team and these were all out of his comfort zone because he was a really shy guy,” Kordek said. This article from The Oklahoman talks about the veteran cycling group Sanchez was apart of, and also details some of his PTSD struggles after serving 16 years in the Army and completing 3 deployments in Iraq.

“To survive deployments in Iraq and to die like this is just devastating,” Kordek continued.

Sanchez’s identity was released by the FBI’s Richmond Division and the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virgina.

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