Police are hunting a "scruffy" and "unwashed" suspect in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway after a 64-year-old hiker was found tied to a tree and in need of hospital treatment.
Rescuers located the woman after her friend called 911 on Thursday afternoon from an area of the park popular with families and hikers.
She was found tied to a tree off a trail near the Craggy Gardens picnic site in what park authorities said was a possible assault, without releasing additional information.
The Reems Creek Fire Department said the hiker was found in need of urgent attention from paramedics and was transported to the Mission Hospital in Asheville for treatment. No further information was released on her condition.