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  1. #1
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    GA - Meredith Emerson, 24, Blood Mountain, 4 January 2008

    Search Resumes Today For Missing Georgia Hiker


    UNION COUNTY, Ga. -- The search resumes Thursday morning in Union County for a missing hiker and her dog.

    Friends believe Meredith Emerson, 24, from Gwinnett County, spent Tuesday and Wednesday night outside in the cold north Georgia mountains. Temperatures reached into the teens both nights.

    Emerson's friends said she went hiking with her dog on Blood Mountain Trail Tuesday. Authorities said they have located Emerson's car and her dog's leash, but they have found no sign of Emerson or her black Lab.

    Police also found a police baton and a pair of sunglasses near Emerson's car.

    Another hiker told officials he saw a man with a similar baton clipped to his belt hiking on the same trail that Emerson took.

    Read on: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/14964662/detail.html

  2. #2
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    Does anyone know what that significance of the baton means? Is that something all hikers carry?

    I hope she and her dog are ok.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taximom View Post
    Does anyone know what that significance of the baton means? Is that something all hikers carry?

    I hope she and her dog are ok.
    From what I know, it is not a common tool to bring hiking. But I could be wrong. Might people carry one to fend off bears? I can't think of any other purpose it may serve.

    By the way, some of the news stories I've read say that they indeed found a dog collar, but are not sure if it belonged to Meredith's dog or not. The article linked above states that the dog collar did belong to Meredith's dog, but other stories say different.

  4. #4
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    They found a dog collar and water bottle but aren't sure if it is hers. Sub-freezing temperatures in the mountains...I hope they find her today.

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...ge_tab_newstab

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taximom View Post
    Does anyone know what that significance of the baton means? Is that something all hikers carry?

    I hope she and her dog are ok.
    Meredith had a blue belt, so it may have been something she felt comfortable using to defend herself or her dog. Of course, it could also be something she threw for the dog to fetch. (Weird, but not out of the realm of possibility.)

  6. #6
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    Her car was found in the trailhead parking lot, covered in snow. But there was no sign of Meredith or her dog.

    While the sheriff's department and GEMA are handing it as a missing persons' case, there are some details that have friends concerned. According to her roommate, a former police officer hiking on the trail on Tuesday said he recalled seeing her and her dog and that he also noticed a man on the trail that gave him an uneasy feeling. That man was carrying a police baton.

    The former officer said he continued up the hill. He said that when he came back down the hill he found some of Meredith's belongings including a leash, two water bottles and some dog treats. Also, next to those items, were a police baton and some men's sunglasses. He turned those items into a local shop owner.

    All of that information is being checked into and the former officer returned to the scene Thursday morning to help pinpoint the area where he saw the suspicious man.


    http://www.11alive.com/news/article_...storyid=108958

  7. #7
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    This young dog owner is missing in GA too. Are they close in location?
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58041

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    According to workers at the Visitors Center, someone saw Emerson coming down the mountain, trailed by someone with a police baton.

    WXIA reports a hiker turned in a dog leash, two water bottles and a police baton to the Visitors Center. Emerson's car was also found. According to WXIA, the significance of the findings was not realized until later; authorities do not know the identity of the hiker who turned in the belongings but they would like to speak to him because he may have seen something.

    According to WXIA, despite the finding of the police baton, the Union County Sheriff's Department is considering this a missing person search, not a criminal investigation.

    http://www.9news.com/news/local/arti...?storyid=83799

    Reported a bit differently here.

    Also, several articles on the net are saying NO FOUL PLAY SUSPECTED...huh?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by christine2448 View Post
    Also, several articles on the net are saying NO FOUL PLAY SUSPECTED...huh?
    I agree with you, christine. I've read all the news reports on this and they seem somewhat contradictory. When you have a witness saying he saw a man with a police baton on the trail and that baton is later found with some of Meredith's belongings, why would foul play be ruled out here? The authorities seems to want to project that this is just a missing persons case, not a criminal situation. Perhaps they want to draw someone out, give him a false sense of security?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwiz24 View Post
    I agree with you, christine. I've read all the news reports on this and they seem somewhat contradictory. When you have a witness saying he saw a man with a police baton on the trail and that baton is later found with some of Meredith's belongings, why would foul play be ruled out here? The authorities seems to want to project that this is just a missing persons case, not a criminal situation. Perhaps they want to draw someone out, give him a false sense of security?
    I agree with both of you...something is really odd here.


  11. #11
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    AJC is confirming that it is Meredith's water bottle and dog leash.

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...ge_tab_newstab

  12. #12
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    Now saying that GBI has joined the search. This must mean they expect some foul play.

  13. #13
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    I don't hike - go through the trails maybe, but not like that - So forgive my ignorace =)

    But - is having your dog off lead something that is normal to do? Does it depend on the dog etc? Not sure what type of certificate she's holding in the one pic released of her and her dog, but I was thinking she's done some type of training with it (dog).

    Has anyone searched petfinder or called the local shelters in that area to see if they've had a "drop off" or a pickup complaint of a dead animal that matches her dog's description?

    I know it seems I'm focusing on the dog. BUT if I were going to do something, The dog would be the first thing that would be "dealt" with. That's just based on personal history w/ My dog though. If it came down to it, I know/seen what he'll do/ is capable of.

    Or am I "barking up the wrong tree" here?

  14. #14
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    Officials are looking for a person of interest seen descending the trail at the same time as Meredith. He is described as a white male between 50-60 years old with bad teeth.

    I hope someone saw what type of vehicles were around at the time. This sounds like an abduction for sure.

  15. #15
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    Updated news report. Looking for a man with a red retriever named Danny seen talking to Meredith.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/14964662/detail.html

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