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Ga. killing suspect faces Fla. charge

ATLANTA, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Florida investigators have evidence linking the man charged with killing a woman hiker in Georgia to a similar killing, a prosecutor said Friday.

Gary Hilton could also be connected to a North Carolina crime, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. He had been called a "person of interest" in the disappearance of John and Irene Bryant in October.

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"At this point, I'm willing to say he's a suspect," Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney said.

William Meggs, a state attorney in Florida, told the newspaper that he is proceeding slowly because Hilton is in custody in Georgia. He said that investigators have enough evidence already to charge Hilton with killing Cheryl Hodges Dunlap.

Dunlap was found dead in Apalachicola National Forest Dec. 15. A hunter reportedly saw Hilton in the forest on Dec. 7, and rangers saw him in November and on Dec. 28.

Hilton has been charged with the malice murder of Meredith Emerson, who was last seen New Year's Day in the mountains in North Georgia. Hilton helped investigators find her body.

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