According to Tallahassee.com,
Maj. Mike Wood of the Leon County Sheriff's Office has told the Tallahassee Democrat that Gary Michael Hilton is the prime suspect in the slaying of Cheryl Dunlap. Hilton has been charged with murder in the death of Georgia hiker Meredith Emerson.
"We have identified that he was in our county, and he is the prime suspect in a murder in Georgia where an ATM card was used," Wood said. "That makes him the focus of our investigation right now."
"Y'all, the removing of a murder victim's head (or hands, or any body part, for that matter) strikes me as the act of a person who is quite comfortable with murder. Someone I'd strongly believe has done this before."
I don't believe for a minute that the murder of Meredith Emerson is Hilton's first killing, and I would imagine that authorities in neighboring counties and states will be knocking on the GBI's door.
Meanwhile, Gainsville Times.com reported:
Dawson County District Attorney Lee Darragh was left out of the loop when prosecutors struck a deal with Gary Michael Hilton in order to locate the body of slain hiker Meredith Emerson. Darragh told reporters after an initial court appearance for Hilton today that neither he nor any member of his staff spoke with anyone in the offices of Union County District Attorney Stan Gunter or United States Attorney David Nahmias until after Hilton led authorities to Emerson's body in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area Monday night.
What's going on in the Union Co. DA's office? Why wouldn't they bring this other county DA office into the loop? Is there something going on in Georgia that no one is talking about? Who knows. We do things pretty strange out here in Cali, too.
CNN.Crime updated story.