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Slaying suspect's 2nd van found

  • Story Highlights
  • Stripped vehicle found at scrap yard in north Georgia
  • Van belonged to Gary Hilton, suspect in hiker's death
  • Hilton was cleaning a different van when apprehended January 4
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(CNN) -- Investigators have found a second van that belonged to a man charged with kidnapping and killing a Georgia hiker, authorities said Friday.

Gary Michael Hilton directed investigators to Meredith Emerson's body, according to officials.

The van belonged to Gary Michael Hilton, who faces charges in the death of Meredith Emerson, 24, who disappeared while hiking in the north Georgia mountains, said John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

A tip led agents to the Chevrolet Astro van at a scrap yard in north Georgia, CNN affiliate WSB-TV reported. Although it has been stripped and left in bad condition, investigators plan to search it for evidence, Bankhead said.

Hilton was ticketed in 2006 for abandoning the vehicle along a road in the Chattahoochee National Forest, WSB-TV reported.

Hilton, 61, is charged with murder and kidnapping with intent to harm in the death of Emerson. She disappeared on New Year's Day.

Hilton was cleaning out another van when he was arrested January 4 at a convenience store near Atlanta. Investigators say Hilton led them to Emerson's body three days later. See where the body was found »

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  • WSB-TV: Investigators find Hilton's 2nd van

Meanwhile, law-enforcement authorities in North Carolina said this week that they had established a positive link between Hilton and the disappearance of an elderly couple several months ago.


In that case, John and Irene Bryant disappeared while hiking in October. Irene Bryant's body was found near her car. Her husband's body has not been found, but authorities presume he is dead.

Hilton has not been charged in the North Carolina case. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Hank Bishop contributed to this report.

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