Hope but no arrest 5 years after Indiana girls found dead

Midwest

13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German. (Credit: Family)

(NewsNation Now) — It has been five years since the disappearance and murder of two teenage girls in Delphi, Indiana, and no arrest has been made in the case.

Nestled among a network of parks and wilderness trails, Delphi — population 3,000 — is like many midwestern towns, quiet and peaceful.

But five years ago, that peace and quiet was shattered when investigators say 14-year-old Libby German and 13-year-old Abby Williams were murdered.

On the afternoon of Feb. 13, 2017, Libby German asked her older sister Kelsi to drive the best friends and typically happy-go-lucky eighth-graders to the Delphi Historic Trails.

“They just got out of the car and walked down the trail to go to high bridge,” German’s older sister said. “We told each other we loved each other. And that was the last time I saw her.”

At approximately 2:05 p.m. that day, German posted a photo to the social media site Snapchat. It was a picture of the Monon High Bridge.

At 2:07 p.m., German posted a photo of Williams, her friend and hiking partner, walking across the historic bridge.

That post was the last correspondence from either of them.

Hours passed. It was nearing dark and nobody could get in contact with the girls.

“We knew something wasn’t quite right,” said Becky Patty, grandmother of German. “So we said, ‘You know what? We’re all gonna go to the trails.’ And by this time, it was about 20 after five and said, ‘It’s gonna start, it’s gonna get dark. We need to … call the police.'”

Mike Patty, German’s grandfather, said they were searching along the hillside in and around the area where the two girls had been dropped off.

The next morning, on Valentine’s Day, authorities found the bodies of Libby German and Abby Williams in a wooded area, a half-mile upstream from the bridge.

“I looked up and, and the coroner’s van come driving by at that time. And that’s when it hit me that they weren’t found alive, Patty said.

“It affect, affects hard, you know, as a family,” German’s grandfather said. “I didn’t sleep for a long time.”

The girls had been murdered.

“There’s no words for it,” said Anna Williams, Abby’s mother.

Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter had a news conference where he asked aloud, “Why Libby? Why Abby?”

It was during this news conference that authorities released a picture retrieved from German’s phone.

The photo was of a man walking toward them on the bridge, a possible suspect in the case.

There was also some chilling audio.

German had managed to record her alleged killer.

“Guys … down the bridge,” is heard in the clip retrieved from her phone.

Police released a sketch of the suspect, saying: “If you’ve got good information that needs to be put out there, call us.”

The FBI joined the investigation, saying: “Our investment in that investigation has been and continues to be significant.”

But after one year, no arrests were made.

“Until there’s somebody arrested, we’re interested in almost everybody,” Carter said. “If you’re watching … we’ll find you.”

Williams was “supposed to be getting ready for her freshman year of high school,” her mother said. “I just miss her. I just miss all the things that we should be doing.”

Two years after the murders, police released a video — taken by Williams — of a man walking toward them on the bridge.

An image from video found on 14-year-old Libby German’s phone.

Police also released a second sketch. This time, it was of a much younger man, as state police said the case has shifted in a new direction.

The new suspect being sought was between the ages of 18 and 40.

“For more than two years, you never thought we would shift gears to a different investigative strategy. But we have,” Carter said. “We believe you are hiding in plain sight. We likely have interviewed you. Or someone close to you.”

Carter continued, “We know this is about power to you.”

Interest in the case widened but years three and four wore on without an arrest.

Then, another twist in the case.

Picture from fictitious anthony_shots profile. The male model pictured is NOT the person of interest. (Courtesy: ISP)

Police appealed for information about a person tired to a social media account with the “Anthony Shots.”

They say the man behind the account — Keegan Anthony Kline — was using images of a known male model to catfish young girls into sending side photos and their home addresses.

Kline was arrested, charged with child solicitation and pornography, but was not connected to the Delphi case.

Police asked anyone who had ever communicated with the fake online account “Anthony Shots” to come forward.

Police say the fame Instragam and Snapchat account was active in 2016 and 2017, around the time when German and Williams were murdered.

“He may have shared, inadvertently or intentionally, some information that could be valuable,” Don Whitehead of the Howard County Prosecutors Office said.

Is it possible that the two girls were communicating with the fake account?

“I think that the account is definitely important and that we have to keep sharing it,” German’s sister Kelsi said. “Because for whatever reason, law enforcement thinks it’s important to share that information and get to … know people that … did talk to this account.”

Williams’ mother hopes authorities are close to finding the girls’ killer.

“The likelihood is that it’s somebody from around here. I mean, it’s somebody from around here and that’s the scary part … it could be anybody that I see every day,” she said. “In the end game, you know, we’re probably all in for some sort of surprise or shock … when this all plays out, I don’t know exactly what that means, but I believe them.”

Williams’ mother says listening to the audio recording is “awful.”

“It’s awful to think that, you know, that was, that was the last thing our girls heard,” she said.

Carter says he’s not going to talk about the evidence.

“I’m pretty confident in the place where we are right now,” he said. “And eventually, the world’s gonna know what we do.”

Carter says police are getting closer every day.

“Every single day,” he said. “They’re watching. They’re … watching and we’ll meet ’em soon. We’ll meet them.”

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