Internet celebrity “Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker” is now a suspect in a murder investigation. Kai, whose real name is Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, is being sought by authorities in connection with the murder of Joseph Galfy Jr., Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said in a statement on Thursday. Galfy, an attorney, was found dead on Monday in his Clark, N.J., home, the Star-Ledger reports.
According to Romankow, McGillvary’s whereabouts are not currently known, and authorities have yet to reveal how they came to identify the drifter as a suspect. Romankov will address the murder investigation in a press conference on Thursday, the Star-Ledger reports.
Romankow added in his statement that McGillvary, a 24-year-old drifter, had cut his hair in an attempt to conceal his now-famous appearance. The hitchhiker was last seen at a light-rail station near Haddonfield, N.J., and is considered armed and dangerous.
Galfy was a partner in the Rahway-based law firm of Kochanski, Baron and Galfy. An autopsy performed on Tuesday afternoon revealed that the 73-year-old was killed by blunt force trauma, the prosecutor’s office said.
McGillvary, who is also known as Kai Lawrence, Caleb Kai Lawrence and Kai Nicodemus, rose to Internet fame after stopping a deadly assault in California by smashing the attacker over the head with a hatchet. A subsequent television interview, which showcased Kai’s colorful catchphrases and personality, went viral.
On Tuesday, McGillvary posted a cryptic Facebook entry suggesting he was recently drugged and raped, but did not elaborate further. “What would you do if you woke up with a groggy head, metallic taste in your mouth, in a stranger's house... walked to the mirror and seen ... dripping from the side of your face from your mouth, and started wretching, realizing that someone had drugged, raped and (had sex with you)? what would you do?” he wrote.
A homicide task force is coordinating with local, state and federal officials to track McGillvary down, the Star-Ledger reports. He is charged with murder, with bail already set at $3 million.