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'Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker' arrested in Clark man's murder

Thursday, May 16, 2013
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Internet celebrity "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker" has been arrested in the murder of a Clark, New Jersey man.

The suspect Caleb Lawrence McGillvary was captured by Philadelphia Police at the Greyhound Bus station in Philadelphia.

The 24-year-old Internet celebrity is well known on Facebook and YouTube as "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker."

McGillvary gained fame online for his intervention in a Feb. 1 attack in Fresno, California. He was riding with a man who drove into a utility worker. The Fresno Bee reported that McGillvary pulled a hatchet from his backpack and struck the driver in the head after he confronted the Pacific Gas & Electric worker.

McGillvary is homeless but considers himself "homefree" and relies on the generosity of strangers for food, lodging and transportation.

He is also known as Kai Lawrence, Caleb Kai Lawrence and Kai Nicodemus.

The victim, Joseph Galfy, was found inside his home on Starlite Drive on Monday after officers received a call to check on his well-being.

An autopsy performed the following day determined that Galfy died as a result of "blunt force trauma", according to Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Investigators said Kai met the attorney near Times Square, and a surveillance camera captured images of them. The men later went back to the victim's house, officials said.

A post was made to his Facebook page on Tuesday in which Kai claims he was raped by the man.

Kai later reached out to some fans in South Jersey, who took him to a train station. He claimed to be headed to Philadelphia and then to Georgia.

Based on the investigation, authorities know that McGillvary has cut his hair in an attempt to alter his appearance.

Before his arrest, he had last seen at a light rail station in the Haddonfield, N.J. area, said Romankow.

The Union County Homicide Task Force is working with local, state, and Federal officials to locate McGillvary. He is charged with murder in Union County and bail has been set at $3 million by Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim.

"I am grateful for the overwhelming response and dedicated effort by the public and law enforcement that led to this arrest," said Romankow. "I believe that everyone is a little safer with this person off the streets."

(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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