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Internet Celebrity Sought In New Jersey Murder, Arrested In Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Authorities say a homeless man, who became an internet celebrity, was arrested in Philadelphia Thursday night and charged with a murder in northern New Jersey.

Just hours after authorities in Union County, New Jersey, called him a murder suspect, officials say Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, 24, was arrested at about 6:30 p.m. in Philadelphia at the Greyhound Bus Terminal by Philadelphia Police.

Authorities in New Jersey all day knew this much, their suspect was headed south, possibly to Philadelphia.

They got their break Thursday evening from a 911 call.

McGillvary became an internet celebrity after a rambling television interview of him went viral after he intervened during an attack in California earlier this year. Online, McGillvary is known as “Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker.”

McGillvary was homeless, but called himself “home free” and now stands accused of murdering 73-year-old Joseph Galfy, Jr., a prominent lawyer from Clark, New Jersey (more at CBSNewYork).

Eyewitness News has learned the two met on Saturday in Times Square.

On Monday, Galfy was found dead in his home.

“He was found the next morning, Monday morning, in his bedroom partially clothed. He had his underwear on and he had socks on. He was beaten severely,” said Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Police are investigating, but after the murder, authorities say McGillvary posted on Facebook: “What would you do if you woke up with a groggy head in a stranger’s house realizing that someone had drugged and raped you? What would you do?”

Authorities tell Eyewitness News on their end the motive remains under investigation and the relationship between McGillvary and the victim is unclear.

McGillvary will be processed in Philadelphia and returned to New Jersey in the coming days, said Romankow.

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

Investigators said McGillvary cut his hair in an attempt to alter his appearance.

McGillvary’s bail was previously set at $3 million and he will be lodged at the Union County Jail in Elizabeth, said Romankow.

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