Across the Southeast

Man accused in death linked to hiking couple

ASHEVILLE, N.C. --- The Transylvania County sheriff says a link has been found between the slaying of a North Carolina hiker, the disappearance of her husband, and the man charged with killing a hiker in Georgia. But Sheriff David Mahoney declined to discuss the details of the link between Gary Michael Hilton and Irene and Jack Bryant.

Searchers found the body of Mrs. Bryant on Nov. 9. She and her husband had been missing since Oct. 21. Georgia officials have charged Mr. Hilton with murder in the death of Meredith Emerson, 24, whose body was found in a Georgia forest.

-- Edited from wire reports