Scared Monkeys Missing Persons Site

Hiker Missing: Meredith Emerson Missing Since New Years Day near Blood Mountain in North Georgia (Update: Person of Interest Gary Michael Hilton Found, Charged with Kidnapping)

24 year old Meredith Emerson has been missing since New Year’s Day when Meredith Emersonshe went hiking near Blood Mountain in north Georgia. Meredith Emerson went hiking with her black Labrador retriever, Ella, in Vogel State Park located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Her vehicle was found abandoned and a water bottle and dog collar belonging to Emerson were located. Police state that she was seen talking to a 60 year old man.

If you have any information please call 706-439-6069 or 706-439-6071

Police say the man, described as 60 years old and weighing 160
pounds, was seen several times on New Year’s Day with Emerson.
Police believe the man is Gary Michael Hilton, who drives a white
Chevy Astro van with DeKalb County license plates.

Friends say Emerson went hiking with her black Labrador retriever, Ella. Her 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier was found abandoned Wednesday at the base of Blood Mountain.

Police confirmed that a water bottle and dog collar found near a
hiking trail belonged to Emerson. (NBC – Augusta)

Hiker Meredith Emerson Missing on Blood Mountain in Union County, Georgia

Search for Missing Hiker Continues

Gary Michael Hilton

Gary Michael Hilton

UPDATE I: “Person of interest” found in search for hiker

Police in Georgia say a man wanted in connection with a 24-year-old hiker missing was found tonight at a convenience store in Atlanta’s suburbs.

Gary Michael Hilton of DeKalb County, was found by police and taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation office for questioning. The missing hiker, Meredith Emerson, wasn’t with him.

She’s originally from Longmont but has been living outside Atlanta.

UPDATE II: Police question ‘person of interest’ in Ga. hiker’s disappearance as search for woman resumes

Also on Saturday, authorities went to Forsyth County in the Atlanta suburbs, where Emerson’s black Labrador retriever named Ella was found Friday at a grocery store, Bankhead said. Authorities identified Ella using her implanted microchip, Union County investigator Kimberly Verdone said.

Officials continued Saturday with their questioning of Gary Michael Hilton, who authorities said was seen with Emerson several times Tuesday.

Police picked up Hilton at a convenience store in the Atlanta area, Verdone said. She previously described the 61-year-old man as a “person of interest,” not a suspect.

UPDATE III: Search for missing hiker narrowed

Meanwhile, the “person of interest” connected to Emerson’s disappearance is not cooperating with investigators, Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton told the Journal-Constitution earlier Saturday.

Authorities said Gary Michael Hilton, 61, remained at “an undisclosed location” and is being questioned in the disappearance of Emerson, whose dog, Ella, turned up a day earlier at a Cumming-area grocery store.

Paxton said Saturday that investigators have surveillance tape showing that Hilton had been in the area where the dog was found, but added, “We don’t have the luxury of him cooperating in the search for the woman.”

GBI officials wouldn’t confirm media reports that some of Meredith Emerson’s belongings were found in a dumpster outside this Quik Trip on Keith Bridge Road in Cumming, not far from the Kroger where Emerson’s dog was found. WSB reported that officials searched the dumpster, dusted a pay phone at the Quik Trip for fingerprints and had removed the receiver from the phone.

UPDATE IV: Police found items belonging to missing hiker Meredith Emerson in a dumpster Saturday in Cumming, GA

Police found items belonging to missing hiker Meredith Emerson in a dumpster Saturday in Cumming, outside a store where surveillance cameras captured the man investigators are calling a “person of interest” in the case.

The discovery triggered a new search for Emerson, 24, as police fanned out into a wooded area near the store searching for any clues.

The Kroger store is the same location where Emerson’s dog was found Friday night.


UPDATE V: Gary Michael Hilton Charged with Kidnapping of Meredith Emerson

A man authorities say was the last person to see a missing Georgia hiker has been charged with kidnapping with bodily injury, Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials said on Saturday.

Gary Michael Hilton, 61, is being held under a federal warrant for failing to appear on a citation, officials said.

 UPDATE VI: Missing Ga. hiker, 24, believed dead

Sad but enivitable findings in the case of missing Meredith Emerson. Investigators have recovered three bloody fleece tops similar to the kind Meredith Emerson wore.

Investigators had recovered three bloody fleece tops like the kind Meredith Emerson wore and said they held out little hope of finding her alive.

“It’s gone from a search and rescue to a search and recovery,” Union County sheriff’s investigator Kimberly Verdone said.

Three bloody fleece tops believed to be Emerson’s and a bloodstained piece of a car’s seat belt were found in a trash bin beside a convenience store where Hilton had used a pay phone, the warrant stated. Hilton had attempted to vacuum and wash portions of his 2001 Chevrolet Astro van, which was found without the rear seat belt, according to the document.



January 5th, 2008 at 01:40pm Posted by | abduction, kidnapped, Meredith Emerson, Missing, Missing Adult, Pictures, Search and Rescue | 6 comments

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  1. [...] year old Meredith Emerson went missing on New Year’s Day when she went hiking in Vogel State Park in Georgia with her black Labrador retriever, Ella. Since [...]

    Pingback by Search Continues for Missing Hiker Meredith Emerson in North Georgia | Scared Monkeys | January 5, 2008

  2. Sad story. Nice Police work. No body, no case? hmmmmmm… Take notes aruba.

    Comment by Sahara | January 6, 2008

  3. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family & friends of Meredith Emerson. What a terrible tragedy to lose a child to a crime so preventable (not by Meredith, but to the person who committed the crime).

    RIP young child…

    Comment by JHan | January 7, 2008

  4. What an awful event, I never knew this woman but was on Blood Mt. where she was hiking the day or two before the stalking and kidnap. We all hear about random and unfortunate acts of violence against women and this is a reminder to me to be watchful of same; to protect. In the years I lived near the A.T. in north Georgia I saw one extremely disheveled character who “gave me the chills”. I am so sorry for the family and although there is nothing I can or could do; I would if I could have and wish I had been there that day to interceed somehow. A reminder to us all to be cognizant when possible in case we notice something suspicious that might prevent tragedy.


    Comment by Mike Rund | January 15, 2008

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  6. [...] year old Gary Michael Hilton has plead guilty to the murder of the Georgia hiker, Meredith Emerson. A plea agreement was reached that spared Hilton the death penalty as it was determined that Hilton [...]

    Pingback by Gary Michael Hilton Pleads Guilty to Killing Georgia Hiker, Meredith Emerson | Scared Monkeys | January 31, 2008

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