Killer: Georgia Hiker 'Wouldn't Stop Fighting'

Drifter tells cops she very nearly bested him in 3-day ordeal
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2008 8:36 AM CDT
Meredith Emerson is seen with her dog Ella, in Flowery Branch, Ga. Emerson used her wits and martial arts training when she was attacked in the north Georgia mountains by a drifter.    (AP Photo/Courtesy of Pat B. Mitchell)
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(Newser) – The Georgia hiker kidnapped on New Year’s Day used every ounce of her formidable strength, martial arts training, and wit to stay alive for 3 days, her killer told authorities. Gary Michael Hilton said Meredith Emerson fought back tenaciously when he demanded her ATM card, and managed to stall him for days, amid several brushes with authorities, by giving him false PIN codes.

"She wouldn't stop fighting. And yelling at the same time. So I needed to both control her and silence her,” said Hilton, who said he accosted her because he thought she would be easy prey. "She was doing everything she was supposed to do to stay alive, and we didn't get there in time," said an investigator.