Searchers Zero In on Missing Hiker

Police pick up 'person of interest,' but he's not cooperating
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2008 2:03 PM CST
In this May 2007 photo released by Pat B. Mitchell, Meredith Emerson is seen with her dog Ella, in Flowery Branch, Ga. The 24-year-old hiker has been missing since Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008. (AP Photo/Courtesy...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rescuers have narrowed the search for Meredith Emerson, the 24-year-old hiker missing since New Year's Day, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Officials won’t say why, but they’re now concentrating their search on the 5-mile area where Emerson’s car was found. Police yesterday found Gary Hilton, the last person Emerson was seen with, but he’s not cooperating with investigators.

Police have dubbed Hilton a “person of interest.” Other hikers saw the 61-year-old hiking up Blood Mountain with Emerson on Jan. 1, and police picked him up at a gas station. A day earlier, Emerson’s dog turned up at a supermarket, which surveillance tapes show Hilton visited. Hilton is being questioned, so far apparently fruitlessly, in an undisclosed location.