Indiana man charged in assault of girl, 9, may be connected to unsolved 2017 teens’ murders

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WXIN) — A northwest Indiana man arrested for kidnapping, beating, and sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl is now being investigated for a possible tie to the 2017 murders of two teenaged Indiana girls.

James Brian Chadwell, 42, was charged Monday with attempted murder, child molesting, attempted child molesting, kidnapping, criminal confinement, battery resulting in serious bodily injury and strangulation.

James Brian Chadwell

Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said investigators had Chadwell on their radar in the Delphi case.

“The information [regarding Mr. Chadwell] has been shared with us and our investigators are looking into him,” Leazenby said in a statement.

Prosecutors want Chadwell classified as a habitual offender, which would add a sentence enhancement if he’s found guilty.

It’s very early in the process, and investigators aren’t sharing many details about a possible connection to the murders of 13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German.

Williams and German were reported missing by their families on February 13, 2017, after they did not show up at a predetermined meeting location after being dropped off near the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. The next day, they were found murdered near the bridge.

The high-profile case remains unsolved, even though investigators have released sketches and audio of the suspect. Investigators have received thousands of tips regarding a possible suspect; so far, those haven’t panned out.

Anyone with information about the case should send an email to or call toll-free at 844-459-5786.


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