UPDATE: Internet star ‘Kai the Hitchhiker’ caught in Philadelphia, charged with murder
UPDATE 8 p.m.: Union County N.J. officials announced Thursday evening that Philadelphia Police apprehended Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, AKA Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, at the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Philadelphia.
McGillvary has been charged in the murder of Clark, N.J. man Joseph Galfy Jr.
According to a news release, McGillvary will be processed in Philadelphia and returned to New Jersey. He will be lodged in the Union County Jail in Elizabeth.
“I am grateful for the overwhelming response and dedicated effort by the public and law enforcement that led to this arrest,” said Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow in a news release. “I believe that everyone is a little safer with this person off the streets.”
McGillvary received Internet fame earlier this year after he gave a lively television interview depicting how he used a hatchet to repeatedly strike a man who purposefully ran over a utility worker and also tried to beat up a woman who intervened. The video went viral. McGillvary had hitched a ride with the assailant before the incident.
ORIGINAL REPORT: Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, who rose to Internet fame earlier this year after giving a lively interview on TV about how he used a hatchet on a man who was trying to beat up a woman, is wanted for the murder of New Jersey man, officials with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said today.
Kai, whose real name is Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, was apparently last seen at the Patco station in Haddonfield, Camden County, N.J.
Officials with the Union County Task Force and the Clark Police Department issued an arrested warrant for McGillvary in the May 12 homicide of Clark man Joseph Galfy Jr., according to a press release.
Officials said Galfy was found inside his home May 13 after a welfare check. After a May 14 autopsy, it was determined Galfy died of blunt force trauma.
McGillvary, 23, is homeless, but has referred to himself as “homefree,” said Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romanhow in a release.
In February, McGillvary hitched a ride with a driver who then, on purpose, ran over a utility worker in California. The driver, who proclaimed to be Jesus Christ, tried to beat up a woman who intervened to help. McGillvary told a local television station he grabbed a hatchet and hit the assailant.
McGillvary was then known as Kai the Hitchhiker and the local news report with his interview went viral. He made an appearance on national media outlets including Jimmy Kimmel Live.
New Jersey officials said McGillvary cut his hair to alter his appearance and is still at-large. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Union County Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest.
McGillvary has been charged with murder and his bail has been set at $3 million.
Officials wrote: All tips are kept anonymous and may be called into (908) 654-TIPS (8477), www.uctip.org, or text UCTIP plus a message 274637.