The parents of Kai The Hitchhiker say their son Caleb McGillivary had emotional issues for a number of years growing up claim "the system let my son down."

Kai The Hitchhiker mugshot
Kai The Hitchhiker mugshot (Philadelphia Police)

McGillvary claimed in interviews he is "home-free" and  that "as far as anyone I grew up with is concerned, I’m already dead." His divorced parents, Gil & Shirley McGillhowever, spoke to the Star Ledger and say he had a "tough life" growing up.

Gil, 57, a former probation officer who lives in Ontario, Canada, says Caleb was in "treatment homes until he turned 18 and hen they cut him loose and washed their hands of him. Caleb made accusations that he was physically and mentally abused at one of the homes. The system let my son down."

Shirley, who current residence is not revealed, disputed Gil's claim that Caleb had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, calling him a "delight" as a little boy but had not spoken with her son since last fall. But she denies the allegations he wrote on his Facebook page  on Mother's Day that he was beaten by family members starting at age 2 and locked in a room for 20 hours a day, blaming his statement on a mood disorder.

Shirley was saddened by his claims of having no family.

Caleb Lawrence McGillvar, aka "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker"
Caleb Lawrence McGillvar, aka "Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker" (Union County Prosecutor's Office)

"He has a family that misses him," she told the Star Ledger. "He has a family that loves him. There have been some attempts, but we have no way of contacting him. He knows my number. My number hasn’t changed. If he calls and wants our help, we’re there for him."

Caleb is still in a Philadelphia jail following his arrest on Thursday for the murder of Clark lawyer Joseph Galfy. The Union County Prosecutor's Office wants to extradite him back to New Jersey to face charges the Canadian also faces charges there that could lead to his being deported.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM