Great Smoky Mountain Park Rangers search for missing man

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been searching for Derek Joseph Leuking, 24, of Louisville, TN.

Leuking was last seen at 4.00 a.m. Saturday, March 17 at the Microtell Hotel in Cherokee, NC.

The subject’s white Ford Escape was located Saturday morning at the
Newfound Gap Parking Area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Rangers have searched over 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail and other connecting trails radiating out from Newfound Gap, but have not found any signs of Leuking.

He was believed to be carrying a dark colored daypack, but didn't have a tent or sleeping bag for overnight use.

Officials said he's 5’11” tall, 220 pounds with short brown hair and a short beard. He is believed to be wearing black track pants, white tennis shoes and may have had a Realtree camouflage rain suit.

Anyone who may have seen Leuking or who may have any information
should call the Park’s Communication Center at (865) 436-1230.


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