“Georgia Man Picks Up Hitchhiker, Unknowingly Aiding Murder Suspect in Multi-Agency Manhunt”

By | August 11, 2023

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A Georgia man and his son unknowingly picked up a hitchhiker who turned out to be a murder suspect from North Carolina. The suspect had been hitchhiking before being found by the man and his son. Authorities launched a manhunt and eventually found the body of the victim in a national forest. The suspect was later arrested with the help of a resident’s tip. Another man was also arrested in connection with the killing. The investigation is still ongoing. Olivia Lloyd reported

A father and son from Georgia were en route to collect a paycheck when they encountered a hitchhiker on the side of the road, as reported by various news outlets. Russell Jimmerson, the father, decided to offer assistance to the stranger, stating, “I help everybody.” Unbeknownst to him, the individual he picked up turned out to be a murder suspect from North Carolina, who was being sought after in a widespread law enforcement manhunt.

The authorities revealed that the suspect had been hitchhiking prior to his encounter with Jimmerson. The Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, having received information about a potential murder and body disposal, contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for assistance with the investigation. The following day, law enforcement teams discovered the victim’s body in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.

This discovery triggered a manhunt for the 23-year-old murder suspect, Keegan Cleve Phillips, which eventually concluded near the small town of Gillsville, approximately 50 miles away from where the body was found. Multiple county sheriff’s offices, along with agencies such as the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office and the Georgia State Patrol, converged on the Gillsville Highway area in search of Phillips.

Thanks to a tip from a resident of Gillsville, local authorities were able to locate Phillips on August 8th. He was apprehended by a K-9 unit and subsequently charged with murder. Another individual, a 62-year-old man from Lula, was also arrested in connection with the killing. He faces charges of concealing a death and unlawful disposal of a body. Both Phillips and the other suspect are currently being held at the Rabun County Detention Center.

The investigation into the case is still ongoing, and authorities have not released the identity of the victim. Gillsville, where the manhunt ended, is situated approximately 70 miles northeast of Atlanta.

In an unrelated incident, deputies in Georgia recently rescued a teenager from sex trafficking after spotting suspicious behavior during a chase. Additionally, Pennsylvania law enforcement is currently engaged in a manhunt for an escaped inmate with military training. Meanwhile, federal authorities have reported the arrest of a retired soldier who allegedly stole a Humvee from an Army base and crashed it into a building. Lastly, Georgia authorities are mourning the loss of a county worker who tragically died when a tree fell on their car..