Skip to comments.Officials: Hiker was alive for days; suspect now faces murder charge
Posted on 01/09/2008 6:20:56 AM PST by Red in Blue PA
BLAIRSVILLE, Georgia (CNN) -- A young hiker whose body was found in northern Georgia was probably alive for three days before she died from blunt force trauma to the head, authorities said Tuesday.
Meredith Emerson was last seen hiking with her dog on Blood Mountain in Georgia on New Year's Day.
1 of 3 Meredith Emerson, 24, was decapitated after her death, an autopsy also found.
Investigators believe she was killed January 4, said Lee Darragh, district attorney for Hall and Dawson counties.
That's the same day suspect Gary Michael Hilton, 61, allegedly made a phone call from a pay phone at a convenience store in Cumming, Georgia, where Emerson's black leather wallet containing her identification cards was discovered in a trash bin.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
So... he just kept her around for days beating her? What a nutjob. does GA have capital punishment?
I read the story, and now I’m angry.
Understood. I’m beyond angry. It is mind bending unfairness. Evil does exist.
Yes. And it’s the evil that will spare him in court.
This piece of excrement has done this, or something similar to it, before.
If the police involved are competent, they will be busy compiling a list of his known addresses from over the years and cross-referencing them to disappearances, unidentified bodies and unsolved homicides.
This was sadistic and methodical.
He led investigators to her body Monday in exchange for prosecutors’ agreeing to drop consideration of the death penalty against him, according to Union County District Attorney Stan Gunter.
He’s 61. With the average length of death penalty appeals, he’d probably die in prison of old age before they could execute him.
Thats OK. For about a hundred bucks, they can buy a hit on him within prison.
‘A man does not commit this kind of horrific crime for the first time at the age of 61.’
My idea of hiking is with a concealed handgun and a nice big knife.
Yes, but according to a news report, he won’t face execution.
Since he showed the authorities where her body was, maybe that was the agreement made.
Still ought to kill the son of a bitch, just slowly.
The killer should get the death penalty.
I agree. I hate bargains like that.
The article mentions that they’re also looking at him for a case in Florida. I bet they’ll find a whole string of cases connected with him in the Southeast.
I also bet he’s been in jail for some kind of sexual offense (or possibly even murder) in the past and was released. They haven’t let out much info about him.
I’ve heard the same things you mention here.
Charges against Hilton were upgraded to murder Tuesday.
He led investigators to her body Monday in exchange for prosecutors' agreeing to drop consideration of the death penalty against him, according to Union County District Attorney Stan Gunter.
In this case. But if they can tie him to a different murder, he can get the death penalty for that one.
Yep. And there will be lawyers lining up to defend him just to get their name in the paper.
yeah got that now.
I hate anything resembling a pleabargain.
As a sheriff deputy friend of mine says, "This ain't the first time he's been to the rodeo."
They get him on this one in exchange for bargaining away the DP, then seek the DP on one or more of the other murders. AND they can use this confession/conviction as evidence of a similar transaction in the other cases, making it easier to get the DP there.
You can only kill him once, and it seems like this is a target rich environment.
Problem is, this would have been a perfect DP case, with evidence of torture/depraved mind. In the older cases it's going to be harder to pinpoint evidence of torture.
One place to look closely is at the murders of the two elderly hikers in Pisgah Nat’l Forest a couple months ago. Her body was found but her husband’s was not.
I agree with your type of environmentalism but for some of the hiking crowd, pepper spray for bears is going too far.
Just can’t get my (gun-toting) mind around that one.
I think that the family also agreed to this in order to be able to recover the body.
There are several deaths being investigated regarding him. Most from the same area and the bodies, including Levi Frady’s, were found in this same patch of woods.
Thanks for bringing that up. Prosecutors usually clear this stuff with the families before they propose any deals.
Did I hear that he used to be FBI? Maybe I heard wrong was in the other room...why do people go hiking etc alone all the time? With all these girls the first thing you hear is how strong they are and with this one she knew martial arts. I think in this day and age you should NEVER go any where alone especially hiking...just from getting an injury you would be all alone. This story is just horrific.
“blunt force trauma to the head” “autopsy found she was decapitated”
Good grief - is this a real CNN report? If so, pretty lousy reporting.
And a shovel.
Guess she thought her dog would fend off any trouble.
Years ago I worked Empl.office for a little rural town twice a week and noticed a man always sitting on a porch as I drove in. One late winter day at dark time, with it snowing, and my receptionist out, the man from the porch came into my office where I had the desk and him between me and the door. I told him my boss had called and told me to get back ASAP, so he should come back next time. He prized up and insisted I take his application, so I hurried through it. In the experience column he told me he had been in prison for 20 years--for murder. I tried to keep calm, as he told me he had been watching me everyday I came in. Talk about creepy! I continued to pack up my stuff and handed some of it to him as if I assumed he would help me out to my car. I just kept talking calmly and moving. Told him to come in next time.
I got away, but never saw him again. Found out a couple of months later he was back in prison--for another murder.
I think he just got antsy and was ready to move again and was considering me as a target.
Seems many folks put a lot of stock in their dogs. Big mistake.
In the name of being “civilized” we have created a system which will always protect the wicked and seldom if ever, protect the innocent.
What is more uncivilized than this?
You can die from blunt force trauma, but later be decaptiated.
I figure that light weight for hiking means Scandium.
Here’s some inside info that will increase your rage.
Hilton was arrested in the neighborhood where I grew up in Atlanta. My parents are still there and I have been on the phone with my mom every day to get the latest info.
There are two parks in the area where this guy was arrested, Blackburn Park and Murphy Candler. The Chevron where he was arrested is across the street from Blackburn. These two parks are local parks with ball fields and playgrounds. People go there to walk their dogs, play with their kids, or go for a walk. Blackburn was actually on the short list of parks for the Olympic tennis venue before they decided on Stone Mountain.
My mother has seen this dude hanging out in the strip mall across the street from Blackburn. The locals were familiar with this guy. He had a bad habit of getting into altercations with people walking their dogs in the park, and he has threatened individuals with the police baton that he always had with him.
The guy was a loser drifter, sleeping in his car, hanging around the locals parks acting in a belligerent manner. The local neighborhood was familiar enough with him to have warned residents about him in the local neighborhood watch.
Local police were familiar with him as well, but couldn’t do anything about it, as he had not actually committed any crimes.
What a tragedy.
Oh, just got an IM from Mom. He has been named as the prime suspect of an unsolved murder in Appalachicola. The girl there was killed 2 weeks before Meredith and killed in the same manner.
This dude was on a spree.
During human evolution we lost our speed advantage to all but turtles by traveling on two legs. But we gained the ability to hold and use weapons. Humans are specifically engineered to walk and carry weapons. To do anything else is unnatural.
Carry a heavy gun and make up for the weight by not taking the Yuppie hiking crap, I say.
May a guard’s weapon accidentally discharge into the back of his head.
A bunch of buddies and I do a rafting/camping trip in North Georgia / SC / TN every year. Let’s just say that a guy like this would not want to mess with us.
You’re the kind of guys I used to camp with. Never forget the time we set up camp and some locals came by and started to think about harrassing us. The guys took out their hunting knives and started sharpening them while chatting them up. (We also had handguns on board.) The locals beat a hasty retreat.
That’s what I’m talking about! Wow...