Scared Monkeys Missing Persons Site

Body of Missing Meredith Emerson Hiker found Deceased

The sad but not unexpected news is being reported that the body of missing Meredith Emerson has been found. Gary Michael Hilton has previously been charged with kidnapping with bodily injury. Now he will be charged with her murder. Meredith Emerson, rest in peace.

The body of Buford hiker Meredith Emerson, missing since New Year’s Day in the North Georgia mountains, has been found by authorities, her family’s spokeswoman confirmed Monday night.

“We did find out just now, not that it was unexpected,” Peggy Bailey said.

She did not confirm exactly where the body was found but said, “I know it was a place where they have been looking.”

As search parties continued with a sixth day of scouring the mountains for Emerson, the man suspected of killing her faced a judge but made no comment.

Although the father of the young hiker went before cameras Monday to ask the public to “search their hearts and memories” for anything that might lead to his daughter, attorneys said that even if searchers had never found her body, Gary Michael Hilton still could have been charged with her murder.

Hilton was charged Saturday with kidnapping with bodily injury, felonies that carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. (AJC)

Report: Body of Missing Georgia Hiker Found

Authorities found the body of a missing hiker Monday, hours after a judge denied bond to the man accused of kidnapping her in the mountains of northern Georgia.

A source close to the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity, said the remains of 24-year-old Meredith Emerson had been found. The disclosure came after authorities scheduled a “major announcement” in the case in Dawson County, south of where Gary Michael Hilton, 61, appeared in court.

Investigators are examining whether Emerson’s death and the disappearance of two other hikers in October in North Carolina are related.

UPDATE I: Officials: Georgia Hiker Died of Blow to Head, Later Decapitated

January 7th, 2008 at 09:09pm Posted by | abduction, Found Deceased, kidnapped, Meredith Emerson, Missing, Missing Adult | 3 comments

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  1. [...] UPDATE II: The Body of Missing Meredith Emerson Found Deceased [...]

    Pingback by Search Continues for Missing Hiker Meredith Emerson in North Georgia | Scared Monkeys | January 7, 2008

  2. I hate the death penalty, but this murder of Emerson is an example of someone who needs to be fried. Hilton is waste water and should be put down.

    Comment by Linda | January 7, 2008

  3. I live near Atlanta, am a rock climber and trail runner too. I volunteered to help with the search for Meredith beginning on jan 2. The police told people not to come search, that only Law enforcement personnel were allowed to search.
    I eventually went to vogel state park and directly offered to help anyway.

    This is my conclusion:
    1. The police did not solve this, the public and the media solved this.
    2. The police were too focused on treating this as a crime investigation, rather than a search and rescue effort, for too long, and Meredith could easily have been found and saved while the cops held the public at bay so they could ponderously, slowly, and ineffectively proceed as if Meredith was already dead. They acted as if she was already dead from the beginning.
    Read this story about how Hilton sat in a Huddle house for AN HOUR making A SCENE while Meredith was tied up in the back of his van, but because THE POLICE HAD NOT RELEASED INFO ABOUT HILTON, nobody at the Huddle House knew to have him detained. It is sickening:…?storyid=109301
    3. The police had all the info they needed to have found Meredith, alive, during the three days that Hilton had her. They also had literally hundreds of volunteers that could have checked roads in every state park in North Georgia, had they simply told people to go look.
    a. They knew Hilton was the prime suspect (thanks to the public and Meredith’s friends) but only called him a “person of interest”.
    b. They knew Hilton favored driving his van deep into state parks and forests (they have a 20 minute video of him being evicted from a forest 2 months ago..posted at: multimedia/video/index.html?clip=55847
    c. They knew they had two unsolved abductions and murders in which the victims bodies were dumped in this same forest. One body was dumped less than a mile from where Meredith was found. They knew that the clues in those murders matched Hilton (witness description, same white van).
    d. They had reports from the public saying that Hiltons van was seen in the area of the Dawson wildlife refuge.
    e. They knew all this ON OR BEFORE MEREDITH WAS KILLED.

    ..and yet, they didn’t encourage the public to look in other state parks. They prohibited the public from even driving into the area for 2 days. They didn’t publish the info that they had about Hilton. Why? Because they didn’t focus on saving Meredith…they focused on getting a conviction.

    Meredith’s body was found ON A DIRT ROAD 2 MILES OFF THE MAIN ROAD….had anyone at all driven down that road in the 3 days that Hilton had her, she would have had a chance.

    How is it that the focus and expertise of the public is so disregarded by the police department during missing person’s cases? The cops set themselves up as the communication hub for tips, but then didn’t share what they were told, and didn’t act on the info that was given to them.

    They didn’t even find the bloody clothes and wallet UNTIL THE PUBLIC TOLD THEM TO GO LOOK IN THE PARTICULAR DUMPSTERS: http://…to_missing.html

    This is, in my opinion, a loss that was caused by the police department’s own mistrust of the publics usefulness beyond phone calls, and by the police department’s ineptitude in using the information and resources which was given to it by the public.

    In the future, if someone I love goes missing, I will insist that information about my loved one, and about potential locations for my loved one, get broadcast. Saving the life of a loved one should be more important than proceeding so slowly and restrictively that you guarantee their death, in the name of ‘preserving evidence’.

    Comment by Birmingham | January 10, 2008

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