Monday, January 7, 2008

Search for Missing Hiker Extended to Metro Atlanta

Officials Note Suspect may be Lnked to Couple's Slaying in North Carolina

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/06/08

Blairsville — Law enforcement officials announced Sunday they have expanded the search for Meredith Emerson to a five-county area extending from metro Atlanta to the North Georgia mountains.

Also on Sunday, officials for the first time acknowledged there could be a connection between the Emerson case and the disappearance and presumed slayings last October of John and Irene Bryant, an elderly couple from North Carolina.

That connection could be Gary Michael Hilton, a 61-year-old man police say was the last person seen with Emerson before she vanished New Year's Day while hiking on the Freeman Trail in Vogel State Park. Authorities hold out little hope Emerson is still alive.

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