Police: Georgia sex offender killed Florida teen
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Police say a registered sex offender from Georgia confessed to killing a 13-year-old girl whose body was discovered by a maid in a hotel room.
Mathew Caylor, 33, told investigators late Thursday that he had killed Melinda Denise Hinson, Police Capt. Robert Colbert said Friday. Her body was found Thursday in a room registered to Caylor.
"It was a very detailed and very lengthy confession," Colbert said. "Investigators will be working in the coming days to validate every component."
Another man who stayed in the room the following night did not know the body was there and has been cleared of involvement in the case, police said.
Caylor, of Auburn, Ga., is charged with murder, sexual battery and failing to register as a sexual offender. He was being held in the Panama City Jail and had not yet been assigned a public defender.
As Hinson's family moved out of their room at the hotel Friday, the girl's mother said she knew something was wrong Tuesday when her daughter left to walk a neighbor's dogs and never returned.
"I kept telling them that she would not run away from me," Rhonda McNallin told the Panama City News Herald. "She is a mama's girl."
Caylor was arrested by the Bay County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday after he was accused of attacking and attempting to rob two women at a Panama City Beach condominium.
When Hinson's body was found, Caylor was being held at the Bay County Jail on charges including aggravated assault, false imprisonment, fugitive from justice and failure to register as a sex offender.
Police said he has a lengthy history of petty crimes and sex crimes.
Hinson and her family had moved to Panama City from Henderson, Ky., in November and were living at the hotel. Caylor checked in June 28.
Authorities said they were awaiting autopsy results to determine how Hinson was killed.
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