Four years ago, on February 13, 2017, two girls in the small town of Delphi, Indiana decided to go hiking on a local trail. Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14, began their hike at 1:35 pm. At 2:07 pm, Libby posted a photo on Snapchat of Abby crossing a bridge. At 3:15 pm, the girls did not show up when Libby’s father came to pick them up at the planned time. At 5:30 pm, they were reported missing. On February 14th, the girls’ bodies were discovered down the hill from the trail.
Police released a photo of a man that was on the hiking trail who they considered a “person of interest”. Later, they revealed that the photo came from Libby German’s phone. Investigators believe she took a photo of her killer right before her death to help police catch him.
Although it seemed obvious the man in the photo was the killer, two years went by without any arrests. Police held a press conference announcing a “new direction” the investigation was taking.
During the press conference, police asked for the public’s help in identifying a car that was parked near the Hoosier Heartland Highway between 12-5 pm on the day the girls’ bodies were found.
Police also released a video and audio recording of the suspect that was taken from Libby German’s phone. The audio recording says the word “guys” before “down the hill”. Police also gave the public a sketch of the suspect. They said they believe the suspect is familiar with Delphi, lives or works in the area, and is hiding in plain sight.
At the press conference, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter read a message for the killer:
“We believe you are hiding in plain sight. For more than two years you never thought we would shift gears to a different investigative strategy, but we have. We likely have interviewed you, or someone close to you. We know that this is about power to you. And you want to know what we know. And one day, you will.
A question to you. What will those closest to you think of when they find out you brutally murdered two little girls? Two children. Only a coward would do such a thing. We are confident that you told someone what you have done, or at the very least, they know because of how different you are since the murders.
I believe you have just a little bit of a conscience left and I can assure you that how you left them in that woods is not what they are experiencing today.”
The details of how the girls were murdered was never released to the public. But according to police, it’s “obvious” foul play was involved. Police have also not released how much video Libby took, or whether there are other clues that they have not released.
Police say they are withholding information because this type of case attracts copycat killers and false confessions. Keeping confidential information helps investigators determine the real killer when they interview him.