Slain hiker remembered by friends

By: ATHENS, Ga. (AP)
By: ATHENS, Ga. (AP)

Friends of Meredith Emerson, a hiker abducted a year ago and murdered, have made sure she will not be forgotten, raising $35,000 for causes important to the 24-year-old University of Georgia graduate.

Emerson and her dog, Ella, disappeared Jan. 1, 2008, on Blood Mountain in north Georgia. Her body was found a week later.

Friends who started the Right to Hike Foundation raised money through a restaurant promotion, a 5K race and a banquet. The foundation donated $5,000 to UGA to help endow a scholarship to study in France, as Emerson did. The group also bought 15 GPS units and distributed them to hiking outposts in north Georgia.

Gary Michael Hilton is serving a life term for killing Emerson, who formerly lived in Longmont, Colo.

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