Georgia Man Picks Up Hitchhiker, Unknowingly Aiding Murder Suspect; Victim’s Identity Still Unknown

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, and authorities later discovered a body in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. The manhunt for the suspect ended when a resident tipped off local authorities, leading to his arrest. Another man was also arrested in connection with the killing. The investigation is ongoing. Olivia Lloyd reported

A gentleman and his son from Georgia were en route to collect their paycheck when they noticed a hitchhiker signaling for a lift on the roadside, as reported by various news outlets. Motivated by his inclination to assist others, Russell Jimmerson informed WXIA that he decided to offer the hitchhiker a ride. Unbeknownst to him, the individual he picked up was subsequently identified by state officials as a murder suspect from North Carolina, who was being sought after in a widespread manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies. According to the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, deputies had received information indicating that this man had allegedly committed a murder and disposed of the victim’s body. Consequently, on August 6th, they sought the support of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to aid in their ongoing inquiry. The following day, both state and county law enforcement authorities discovered the body in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. This discovery triggered a manhunt for a 23-year-old named Keegan Cleve Phillips, which culminated in his capture near the small town of Gillsville, approximately 50 miles away from the location where the victim’s body was found. The operation involved numerous county sheriff’s offices, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, and the Georgia State Patrol, as stated in an official press release. The Hall County Sheriff’s Office further disclosed that Phillips was located on August 8th following a tip from a resident of Gillsville. A K-9 unit was deployed to locate him, resulting in his subsequent arrest and subsequent murder charges. Another individual, a 62-year-old male from Lula, was also apprehended in connection with the homicide. He has been charged with concealing a death and unlawfully disposing of a body. Both Phillips and the aforementioned individual are currently being held at the Rabun County Detention Center, as indicated by records. Authorities have refrained from releasing the name of the victim at this time. Gillsville is situated approximately 70 miles northeast of Atlanta..