Internet celebrity Kai named as a suspect in New Jersey homicide

Left: A recent photo of Caleb Lawrence McGillvary released by the Clark Police Department in New Jersey. Right: 3 4-year-old Internet celebrity well known on Facebook and YouTube as "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker," is wanted for the murder of a Clark, New Jersey man. (YouTube / Clark Police Department)
May 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Clark Police Department in New Jersey has named Caleb Lawrence McGillivary, also known as "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker", as a suspect in a homicide.

Action News has learned the hitchhiker, once hailed as a hero for using a hatchet to break up an assault on a Fresno PG&E crew, is now charged with murder in New Jersey.

Kai is not in custody, and the Union County District Attorney's Office actually asked ABC30 not to report that he was a suspect for a couple days while they tried to find him. They were worried his self-professed "homefree" lifestyle will make it easy for him to go on the run.

Thursday, they charged Kai with murder and issued a warrant for his arrest, and they say he's changed his appearance by cutting his hair.

The victim's family collected some of his personal items Tuesday as police investigated the death of Joseph Galfy, Jr. in Clark, New Jersey. Coroners say he died of blunt force trauma and they have video evidence tying Kai to the crime. Galfy was found inside his home on May 13, 2013 after officers received a call to check on his well-being.

In February, Kai shot to fame when he talked about breaking up an attack on a PG&E crew by smashing the suspect, Jett McBride, over the head with his hatchet. Fresno County investigators have that hatchet in storage in connection with the attempted murder case.

McBride is pleading insanity to those charges, and he made a court appearance Thursday morning. Attorneys in the case said the developments with Kai will probably delay the trial because both sides will have to wait and see how it plays out.

ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi said the murder charge may not really matter in light of Kai's everyday oddball behavior. "I'm not so sure what's happened with him in another state is going to be the crucial factor in this case. I think with his demeanor and how he has portrayed himself after his testimony, his actions lead someone to believe he may have some mental problems himself."

There was a post on Kai's Facebook page that may give investigators a motive in the Galfy murder. He posed a rhetorical question about what would people do if they woke up and discovered they had been drugged and raped. Just one more piece of the bizarre Kai puzzle.

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Stay with Action News and ABC30.com for more on this developing story.

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Anyone with information regarding McGillivary is urged to contact Union County Crime Stoppers.

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered in the case.

Union County Crime Stoppers can be reached at (908) 654-TIPS or www.uctip.org.

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WABC-TV in New York contributed to this report.


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