ATLANTA (AP) -- Authorities are exploring whether there is a link between the disappearance of a female hiker in Georgia and the presumed killing of a couple from North Carolina last October. Investigators say 61-year-old Gary Michael Hilton was the last person seen with 24-year-old Meredith Emerson. He's been charged with kidnapping with bodily injury. Georgia authorities say there could be a connection between the Emerson case and the unsolved case of John and Irene Bryant, who disappeared while hiking in the western North Carolina mountains. The body of 84-year-old Irene Bryant was found covered with leaves in November. Her 80-year-old husband is still missing. Authorities say he may have been kidnapped to provide the couple's bank account security number. Someone withdrew $300 from the account. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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