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Saturday, May 03, 2008

362-pound Oregon hiker rescued in Tennessee on Appalachian Trail

Apr 29, 2008

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A 362-pound hiker from Oregon became ill while hiking the Appalachian Trail and had to be rescued.

Greeneville Emergency and Rescue Squad member Kevin Ayers said 62-year-old Ross John Sieja was on a two-to-three-day hike when he became sick and had to take refuge at a shelter.

It was not immediately clear how long Sieja had been at the shelter when other hikers found him on Saturday and used a cell phone to call for help.

Rescuers from Tennessee and North Carolina were able to bring Sieja out the same day using an all-terrain vehicle.

Ayers says they had a mule standing by in case the terrain proved too rough for all-terrain vehicles.

Sieja told rescuers he was "just tired" and did not want to go to the hospital. Instead, they took him to Hot Springs, N.C., which was hosting its annual "Trailfest" celebration.

1 comment:

Glenn Adams said...

Hello friends: update on GMH, sounds like Sheriff Cambell, has his number...
The man charged in the December death of Crawfordville resident Cheryl Dunlap was brought to Leon County on Friday despite his attempts to fight extradition from Georgia.

Gary Michael Hilton, 61, arrived about 3:15 p.m. at the Leon County Jail in a white SUV surrounded by three unmarked Leon County Sheriff’s Office vehicles.

Hilton was wearing blue prison coveralls, leg irons and a chain around his waist that was attached to his handcuffs. He walked calmly into the jail. A Tallahassee Democrat reporter asked whether he had anything to say, but he didn’t respond.

Six SWAT team members drove to the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison, a maximum-security prison in Jackson, Ga., to pick him up.

Hilton will have his first court appearance from the jail this morning. He’s been appointed two assistant public defenders, Ines Suber and Steven Been, who specialize in capital murder cases.

In a news conference, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell said Hilton would likely be placed in a section of the jail reserved for inmates facing the most serious charges.

“I don’t see him going into solitary confinement,” Campbell said. “I don’t want him to have a private room. ... He’ll be right out there with the rest of them. We don’t want him to have cruel and unusual punishment. We want him to be with his peers.”

Campbell addressed critics who said Florida shouldn’t spend the money to bring Hilton to Tallahassee.

“This isn’t about money,” he said. “This is about justice. This is about the lady that he murdered very viciously in cold blood in our state.”

It’s possible that Hilton will be connected to other crimes, Campbell said.

“We are highly suspicious because of his modus operandi, if you will, that there are other crimes that should have been attributed to him that have been undiscovered so far,” he said. “He was a very calculating, ruthless, dangerous man was roaming through our society and preying on unsuspecting people.”

State Attorney Willie Meggs is expected to personally prosecute the case, Campbell said. Meggs has said he’ll seek the death penalty.

“(Hilton) went to great lengths to destroy evidence, to destroy the victims and to make it as best as he could impossible for law enforcement to be able to tie the crimes to him and to convict him,” Campbell said. “He should have stayed out of Florida.”

Hilton was indicted by a Leon County grand jury in February on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and grand theft in the slaying of Dunlap, a Florida State University nurse and Sunday school teacher who was reported missing in December. Her body was found two weeks later in the Apalachicola National Forest.
Hilton was sentenced to life in prison in January for the murder of Georgia hiker Meredith Emerson. He is also a suspect in the death of an elderly couple in North Carolina.

Hilton had been trying to fight his extradition since April.

“His efforts have now been proved futile,” Campbell said.

Dunlap’s friends were pleased Friday that the case was progressing.
“It’s good,” said Lori White. “I’m glad it’s going to be coming to an end.”

Another friend, Tanya Land, said she still hasn’t made up her mind whether she thinks Hilton should get the death penalty.

“I go back and forth on that,” Land said. “I don’t really know at this point.”

Contact reporter Nic Corbett at (850) 599-2161 or ncorbett@tallahassee.com.


Finally, a Sheriff that has a clue. I salute him!