The killer of two teenaged-girls in Delphi, Ind. remains at large despite the best efforts of the police.
Best friends Liberty “Libby” German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, went for a winter walk on the sunny day of Feb. 13, 2017. The two went to explore the Historic Trails in Delphi, north-central Indiana and to get some fresh air on a day off of school.
They were last seen by a family member who dropped them off at an abandoned railroad bridge, just east of town, at about 1 p.m.
The Murder Investigation
When the girls did not come back for pickup at 5:30 p.m., their parents reported them missing. A massive search ensued but ultimately ended in the discovery of the girls’ bodies about 1/2 a mile from the bridge where they had begun their winter walk 24 hours later.
Authorities conducted autopsies on the bodies the following day as well as two days following the murders. Details of those autopsies remain undisclosed.
The pair of eighth-graders spent the afternoon posting photos of their journey on Facebook. The photos featured the bridge and the surrounding countryside.
These would later be some of the only clues the police had at their disposal.
State police served a search warrant at a nearby property, but no arrests were made.
To date, more than 30,000 tips have come to the police and every one of those leads have been followed. There has yet to be a break in the case, although authorities believe it just takes one piece of the puzzle to solve this horrific double murder.
Public Evidence Of The Delphi Murders
There are three key pieces of evidence that have been released by authorities. Two of these were found at the murder scene.
The first is a grainy photo of a man walking towards the girls along one of the trails. The photo appeared on Libby’s smartphone. The man in the photo wears a navy blue jacket and a distinctive hat.
“We don’t know how far this person or persons might have walked through that area. They may have dropped something in that area, so we combed the area,” said Sgt. Kim Riley with the Indiana State Police.
The second piece of evidence is a short audio clip which was also found on Libby’s phone. The clip reveals a man’s voice commanding someone “down the hill.” Authorities believe the photo and the voice belong to the suspect.
Investigators worked up a composite sketch of the man in the photo. He appears to be middle-aged with reddish-brown hair. They released the photo in July of 2017, a full five months after the murders. Photos of the sketch remain posted in the town of Delphi even a year and a half after the murders.
Police believe that the person in question is between 5’6″ and 5’10” tall and weighs between 180 to 200 pounds.
Other Evidence, Theories And Suspects
Police have other evidence that they have chosen not to share with the public. DNA found at the scene may or may not be connected to the murderer. Investigators have yet to find a match but a change in Indiana law may help in that regard.
Police are may soon be allowed to collect DNA samples from anyone accused, not only convicted of, a felony in the state. Previously, police could only collect samples from those suspects who were convicted of a felony in the state. This change can help broaden the search for the girls’ killer.
Investigators interviewed a Colorado resident, Daniel Nations, in connection to the Delphi murders. Nations once lived in Indiana and faced charges in September 2017 for threatening people with a hatchet on a rural trail in Colorado. But a lack of further evidence prevented Nations from a conviction for the murders.
Nations is currently in jail awaiting trial for unrelated charges for failing to register as a violent sex offender and for failing to appear in court. Authorities say Nations is not on their radar at this time.
Another theory involves a second photo, taken at about 2 p.m. on the afternoon of the murders, which shows a man hiding behind a tree. The Snapchat photo shows Abigail walking on the abandoned railroad bridge. Several feet behind her, a blurry figure can be seen behind a tree off to the side of the trail.
The photo, though blurry, does seem to show someone wearing a dark jacket similar to the one in the suspect’s photo, though police are hesitant to make any statements about this, and subsequently, have not commented on this matter.
No Answers Yet
The case of this horrific double murder in rural Indiana remains cold. There is a reward of more than $200,000 for information that can lead to an arrest in the case.
All it takes is one phone call, according to state police superintendent Doug Carter.
“Somebody out there knows who this person is. I don’t think there’s multiple pieces of the puzzle. … I think there’s one piece. And it’s having one individual with the strength to say that was my brother, that’s my dad, or that’s my cousin, that’s my neighbor, my co-worker. And I think we’re one piece away — one piece.”
If anyone out there knows about that one piece, call the numbers: 844-459-5786 or 800-382-7537.