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Man charged with student's disapperance

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A 61-year-old man has been charged with kidnapping in the disappearance of a 24-year-old hiker on Georgia's Blood Mountain.

A criminal warrant was filed Saturday against Gary Michael Hilton, 61, implicating him in the disappearance of Meredith Emerson, 24, who was last seen on New Years Day with her dog, CNN reported Sunday.

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The warrant says authorities found bits of blood stained clothing consistent with Emerson's, a wallet containing her driver's license and student I.D., and portions of a seat belt with "apparent blood transfer stains" in a trash can at a convenience store 50 miles from where Emerson disappeared.

Witnesses reported seeing Emerson's dog at the same convenience store.

A search of Hilton's 2001 minivan found portions of the rear seat belt were cut out and suggested "Hilton was attempting to vacuum the vehicle and wash portions of it with a bleach and water solution," the warrant said.

Hilton also allegedly used a credit card belonging to Emerson and was the last person seen with the woman.

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