The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office has identified the hiker who was found dead Monday morning along the Appalachian Trail.

Rodney Montgomery of Otis Orchard, Washington, died. He was 59.

Montgomery was hiking the trail with his brother. They were en route to Georgia.

Montgomery’s brother told investigators that last week his brother became ill. They stayed at the Matt’s Creek Shelter for a few days and on Friday they split up. They planned to meet again in Troutville, according to investigators.

Preliminary reports indicate that Montgomery died of natural causes.

Deputies have interviewed several hikers, as well as Montgomery’s brother in the state of Washington. They all corroborate the story, according to the Sheriff’s Office.


Original story from Monday, April 21, 2014

Bedford County investigators say a man's body was found along the Appalachian Trail near Big Island Monday.

Fire and rescue crews were called to the Matt's Creek shelter in the George Washington National Forest around 9:30 Monday morning.  A passing hiker called 911, after finding an unresponsive man lying in the shelter.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to the chief medical examiner's office in Roanoke.

Major Ricky Gardner with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office tells WDBJ7 that preliminary reports indicate the man died of natural causes.  Hikers along the Appalachian Trail reported seeing the man Sunday and said that he wasn't feeling well.

The man's name and age are not being released, until his family members are notified about his death.