4th Night Falls on Search For Hiker Jon Shirek, Julie Wolfe, 11Alive News
A fourth, frigid night has fallen on the north Georgia mountains with no sign of the missing hiker from Gwinnett County, Meredith Emerson, or of the "person of interest" who the GBI said was seen on the trail with the 24-year-old University of Georgia graduate.
On Friday, the search expanded.
Search and rescue teams expanded their search area, far beyond Blood Mountain, where Emerson and her dog were last seen Tuesday afternoon hiking, and talking on the trail with what authorities described as a "person of interest," a man they said was Gary Michael Hilton, 60, of DeKalb County.
The search now encompasses 400 square miles of rugged, north Georgia terrain.
Fifteen teams of search and rescue experts rappelled into ravines and caves all day Friday -- places that the volunteer searchers can not reach -- while helicopters with infrared sensors continued to scan from above for body heat below, for some sign of Emerson and her dog Ella.