Hilton is also the "prime suspect" in the death of Cheryl Dunlap, according to Leon County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Rob Reisinger. Dunlap's decapitated body was found on Dec. 19 in Apalachicola National Forest, southwest of Tallahassee, Fla. Dunlap had been last seen on Dec. 1 and was reported missing after she failed to show up at a Sunday school class she taught. In that case, someone wearing a disguise tried to withdraw money from an ATM with her bank card shortly after she vanished.
Like Mahoney in North Carolina, Reisinger said authorities in Florida are satisfied to have Hilton locked up in Georgia while they work toward bringing charges in Dunlap's murder.
Prosecutors in Emerson's case say that Hilton originally intended to abduct the young woman and withdraw money from her bank account but later decided to kill her. An autopsy found that the Colorado native died by blunt trauma to the head and was decapitated three days after her disappearance. Hilton told authorities he used a tire jack to kill her.
Georgia, Florida and North Carolina authorities investigating the three cases met late last month to share over "500 pieces of evidence" involving Hilton, according to the Leon County Sheriff's Office. "These items ranged from photographic evidence to microscopic samples," a statement reads.
After Hilton was arrested in Emerson's murder, a videotape from October 2006 emerged that was filmed by a Georgia deputy's dashboard camera. The deputy was responding to a trespassing call at a private hunting reserve when he found Hilton in the wilderness.
Hilton told the deputy he was lost during a bizarre 20-minute exchange in which the drifter also revealed a collapsible baton that may have been used in one or more of the deaths.