Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tribute to Jack and Irene Bryant

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of 16 January 2008 contains a long, loving tribute article for Irene and John "Jack" Bryant, written by Mike Williams. Both hikers for years, Irene was murdered and Jack is presumed to have been murdered while on a trail near their North Carolina home in October.
"...the Bryants apparently crossed paths with Gary Michael Hilton. Police suspect the 61-year-old drifter encountered them just 20 miles from their home after the Bryants drove out for a hike in Pisgah National Forest at the peak of the fall color season in October. ...

"Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney says Hilton is a suspect in Irene Bryant's death and Jack Bryant's disappearance, and has scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference today concerning the case. 'I think it will say what everybody's been thinking we're going to say,' Mahoney said. 'He is the suspect.'

"The Atlanta-area suspect, described by many as eccentric and mean-spirited, has been charged with the decapitation killing of 24-year-old Meredith Emerson, who went hiking in the North Georgia mountains on New Year's Day. He also is a suspect in the murder of Cheryl Hodges Dunlap, 46, whose body was found in Florida's Apalachicola National Forest on Dec. 15."
Most of the article describes the Bryants and their family and really nice people, "as remarkably generous, adventurous, engaging and unpretentious." Folks you wish you had been able to meet. Jack had section-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail over a period of years.

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