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 Post subject: Person of interest in missing hiker case in custody
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:01 am 
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This case is being investigated in the area where I've done a lot of hiking.

Person of interest in missing hiker case in custody

The man last seen with missing hiker Meredith Emerson in the north Georgia mountains is in custody and is being questioned by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, authorities announced Friday evening.

Meredith Emerson was last seen hiking with her dog on Blood Mountain in Georgia on New Year's Day.

Gary Michael Hilton, 61, was detained after a police officer spotted his van at a convenience store in suburban Atlanta.

Investigators also have another piece of the puzzle: Emerson's black Labrador retriever, Ella.

The dog walked into a grocery store about 30 miles north of Atlanta hours before Hilton was spotted Friday.

The animal was positively identified through an implanted microchip.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:52 am 
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The description of that guy sounded really grungy. It is scary to have people around where you hike that might attack you.

Be very careful Catherine.

There is a bike path in Buffalo that had a lot of problems. They think they have the guy that caused them, but you never know...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:49 am 
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The Blood Mountain area is really rugged. There's a very neat store near a section called Neal's Gap which sells lots of hiker supplies, clothes, food, tourist souvenirs, etc. I like to go there at the end of summer and again at the end of winter because of their sales. My husband and I were there on the Fourth of July a year or so ago and the place was packed with people of all ages and they were very friendly with each other.

Hikers, as a rule, tend to be that way...especially with other hikers and outdoors enthusiasts. This young woman who is missing is probably no different.

I won't be hiking in that area anytime soon! I hope she's found alive and well, but things don't look good.

Check out this story from Outside magazine in 1996:

http://outside.away.com/magazine/0996/9609dicr.html

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:42 pm 
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That is really scary, and underlines the fear when nothing is being said about this victim. I hope she is found alive, but even if not it would help to know she has been found.

Doesn't look good that her dog has been found...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:05 pm 
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In Ms. Emerson's story, what's the significance of the "baton" that is mentioned?

*** *** ***

There is a case in California about a young lady named Veronica Ruiz that seems similar.

She had supposedly visited Mount Tamalpias (in Marin County) for some exercise, almost a month ago, and hasn't been found since.

If foul play is the culprit, I wonder if more women will consider arming themselves (with pepper spray, etc.) when they take these hikes.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:21 pm 
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I don't know what the baton had to do with anything as far as hiking went, CZ...unless it was something hikers might carry for self-defense. :? I've not read anything more about it. Perhaps it contained forensic evidence.

When I hike, I use walking poles and they could serve quite well as a weapon of self-defense. My husband and I hike quite a bit and it makes me chill when I think of all the isolated areas we've gone into along the AT or into national forests in the same general area in which this girl disappeared. I've been to Vogal State Park many, many times. It's a lovely place.

Now, it looks like Meredith Emerson's body has been found...breaking news on the CNN website:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/01/07/geo ... index.html

It also appears that the "person of interest" might be connected to other hiker disappearances in both NC and FL.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:32 am 
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I've read that it was a "police style" baton, and it is linked, somehow, to Hilton.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:02 am 
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[url=http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2008/01/08/emerson_0109.html]Hiker was alive for three days, affidavit says
Gary Michael Hilton is charged with murder


[/url]

Too bad they won't be able to seek the death penalty against this monster. :evil:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:15 am 
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Catherine wrote:
Too bad they won't be able to seek the death penalty against this monster. :evil:


I used to think that the death penalty was appropriate for extreme cases. Then the Susan Smith case came along. This woman drowned her own children strapped into her car with malice and fore thought, later claiming a black carjacker took her car and kids. When her Repug stepfather blamed it on his molestation of her, the jury did not give her the death penalty. I feel if such an obvious and non-contested murder cannot have the death penalty applied then none should.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 7:03 pm 
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[url=http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories/2008/03/01/cagle_0302.html]Meredith Emerson's death haunts lead GBI investigator
[/url]

More on this sad story...

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