Georgia Hiker Missing, Meredith Emerson, UPDATED Hilton's Van Searched

Charged in Missing Hiker Case, Status changed to, “Search and Recovery
by Albert N. Milliron,

(Blairsville, GA-) – Georgia Bureau of Investigation

spokesman related to reporters moments ago that they do not

believe that Meredith Emerson is no longer Alive. Gary Hilton is

being transferred to Union County Jail as Superior Court Judge issued

an arrest warrant charging Hilton with Kidnapping with Bodily Injury.

GBI is now calling this a “Search and Recovery” Operation

which is what law enforcement say to press when they have evidence

that the victim is probably deceased.


Police seek ‘person of interest’ in case of missing Buford woman

GBI joins the search, water bottle and dog collar belonging to woman found on trail


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The search for a missing University of Georgia graduate in the North Georgia mountains will continue until dusk, and then the situation will be reassessed, police said Thursday.

Meredith Emerson, 24, of Buford, has been missing since New Year’s Day after she went hiking with her dog Ella.

  Vogel State Park•

Authorities are looking for a gray-or-silver-haired man in his 60s who may have been the last person seen with Emerson, walking on the North Georgia mountain trail at Vogel State Park.

Police describe the man only as a “person of interest.” They say he is about 5’10, 160 pounds and was last seen carrying a backpack and wearing a yellow jacket with black stripes and black patches on the elbow. He was walking with a red dog he called “Dandy,” said Union County sheriff’s office spokesperson Kimberly Verdone. Police believe he was driving a white minivan, possibly a Chevy or an Astro van.

More than 100 searchers —authorities, family members, friends and strangers— assembled at the parks visitor’s center to search for Emerson, who grew up in Longmont, Colo.

Volunteers were being sent out in teams of 20 in hopes of finding the hiker, a 2005 Georgia graduate who majored in French and works as a sales manager for Progress Container and Display in Winder.

Those who knew the mountain best and could give medical attention were sent out first in “hasty teams,” said Union County Fire Department First Lt. Brad Niebrand.

Most of the volunteers did not know Emerson personally but her parents, who flew in from Colorado on Wednesday, were among those searching.

“She’s responsible and bright,” said Peggy Bailey, of Athens, Emerson’s godmother. “Her parents are tremendously worried.”

Police have confirmed that a water bottle and dog leash found near a hiking trail in North Georgia belonged to Emerson.

Police say Emerson went hiking about 11 a.m. Tuesday with her dog Ella. She was last seen between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Family members said Emerson is single, 5’4″, 120 pounds and an athlete.


Update 1.:  Jan 3, 2007 20:07 GBI LOOKING FOR 2000 or 2001 white minivan with a Georgia Tag

UPDATE 2: Jan 4th As of 9pm EST  “Person of Interest”  Gary Hilton found in North East Atlanta.  He is being questioned by the police.  Search Continues for Meredith Emerson in the North Georgia Mountains near Blairsville.

UPDATE 3: Jan 4th 11PM EST  Woman’s Dog Found in Cumming, Georgia at a Kroger shopping Center, Police are seeking the store video tape to see if Gary Hilton was there.  Some personal effects where found but have not been linked with Meredith Emerson. Earlier on Friday, Gary Hilton was found in NorthEast  Atlanta.  From Blairsville one well used scenic route to Atlanta would take you right through Cumming Georgia which  is 40 Miles  Northeast of Atlanta


Tipline is 706-439-6038

Having lived in Georgia from 1994-2006 we had a cabin near this trail in north Georgia.  Very close to Clayton and Hiawassee Georgia near the NC border 

 Meredith Emerson, 24, of Buford, Missing Gary Hilton  'person of interest'  in missing Georgia  woman case

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1 Comment

  1. How can anyone say this young lady is “level headed” you do not walk anywhere alone this day and time and you certainly do not sit and walk with someone who is a stranger. My prayers are that this young woman is alive and safe, but at this point, it sounds doubtful…

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