Clark Murder Suspect Arrested In Philadelphia

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary (Photo released by Union County Prosecutor's Office)

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary (Photo released by Union County Prosecutor’s Office)

CLARK — Members of the Philadelphia Police Department arrested the suspect in the murder of a Clark resident at the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Philadelphia last night, according to  Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, 24, was apprehended around 6:30 p.m. on May 16. He has been charged with the homicide of Joseph Galfy, Jr., which occurred in Clark on Sunday, May 12.

“The investigation came together very quickly, Romankow said. “Within hours of a Thursday press conference identifying McGillvary as the suspect…  our Crime Stoppers Tip Line was flooded with calls from around the country.”

Around 5:45p.m. yesterday, a call came in from an individual in Cherry Hill saying that he observed his neighbor with McGillvary earlier in the day, authorities said. A short time later, he saw a news report and noticed that the man he had seen with his neighbor was a match, based in part by an identifiable neck tattoo. The man then spoke with his neighbor who said that she had dropped off McGillvary at the Woodcrest train station a few hours earlier. The neighbor immediately contacted the Tip Line.

As detectives from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force began to process that information, they received a call from the Cherry Hill Police Department saying they had similar information and were en route to that residence.

Around the same time, an employee at a Starbucks in Philadelphia noticed that a customer in the store resembled McGillvary, having seen his picture on the news, authorities said. That employee notified a supervisor who in turn phoned the Philadelphia Police Department.

McGillvary was spotted by police near the Greyhound Bus Terminal several minutes later and was arrested without incident and taken into custody, authorities said.

“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.”

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

The suspect is an Internet celebrity and is well known on Facebook and YouTube as “Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker.” Authorities believe that McGillvary relies on the generosity of strangers for food, lodging and transportation.

Galfy was found inside his home on Starlite Drive on May 13 after officers went to check on his welfare. An autopsy performed the following day determined that Galfy died as a result of blunt force trauma, said Romankow.

McGillvary will be returned to New Jersey in the coming days, authorities said. His bail was previously set at $3 million and he will be lodged in the Union County Jail in Elizabeth, said Romankow.

These criminal charges are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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