4/18/22 Update:

The GBI has identified the male hiker found on January 21, 2022, off the Benton MacKaye Trail in Fannin County Georgia as Stephen Lucas Ryan, 41, of Pennsylvania.

This identification was made because of the work of the FBI, GBI Crime Lab and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs).

Thank you to those that shared information to help identify the hiker.


The GBI is requesting assistance from the public in identifying a deceased man believed to be a hiker on Springer Mountain found on January 21, 2022. The man was found specifically off the Benton MacKaye Trail, which is part of the Appalachian Trail in Fannin County. A forensic artist’s rendering of the man is attached.

The man was wearing a small gray t-shirt, a gray fleece long sleeve shirt, tan Wrangler brand cargo pants size 30x32, gray wool boot socks, and Keen brand hiking boots size 10.5 (pictured). The man had in his possession a black Thermal-FR brand fleece quarter zip pullover (pictured), a dark gray Champion brand quarter zip fleece (pictured), a black Uline skull cap with rechargeable light attachment (pictured) and a small black folding shovel (pictured).

This investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information regarding a person matching this description is asked to contact the GBI. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

Contact Special Agent in Charge

Kim Williams