Unsolved: The 'Delphi Murders' (IND, USA)
February 13, 2017, friends Abigail Williams, 13 years old, and Liberty German, 14 years old, planned to take advantage of a school day off, and were dropped off to go hiking along the Delphi Historic Trails in Carroll County, Indiana. The girls made plans to meet a family member later in the day to be taken home, and set off on their hike, phones in hand. Around 2:07pm, the girls uploaded a series of photographs to their Snapchat accounts, showing them crossing the Monon High Bridge. Some time around 3pm, approximately 90 minutes after they were originally dropped off, Liberty's father Derrick sent a message to his daughter, instructing the two girls to start heading back to an agreed upon meeting place.
When Liberty's father arrived, however, to pick up the girls - they were nowhere to be found. Alarmed, family members began to gather in an attempt to search for, and try to find, the missing girls along the trails. Nonetheless, at approximately 5:30pm the two girls were declared officially missing, and a mass search, consisting of both authorities and local citizens, began shortly after.
The following day, February 14, Abigail and Liberty's bodies were discovered lying beside each other near the trial's end, close to the Monon High Bridge seen in their Snapchat photographs. Soon after the discovery of their bodies, police revealed that Liberty German had managed to record audio and take a photograph of the man suspected of killing the two girls.
Further potential evidence of the suspected killer is confirmed to have been found on the girl's phones, but police have thus far not revealed any further information or resources for fear of risking any future trial, and the investigation itself. In addition, the exact manner in which the girls were killed has also not been revealed by police. Despite this, based on the photograph recovered and the eyewitness testimony of an individual who saw a man leaving the trails, a composite sketch of the suspect was released, and details were released in hopes of tracking him down.
The man is thought to be between Caucasian, 5'6" and 5'10" tall, weighing between 82 and 100 kilograms (180-220 pounds), with reddish-brown hair.
In September 2017, seven months after the girls' murder, a registered sex offender named Daniel Nations was identified as a potential suspect, after being arrested for threatening hikers with a hatchet in Woodland Park, Colorado. A cyclist was also shot and killed on the same hiking trail around the same time as Nations' arrest. Five months later, Indiana police cleared Nations as a suspect in the Delphi Murders, and no other significant possible suspects have since been revealed to the public.
“I truly believe that somebody out there knows this guy," Liberty's Grandfather Mike Patty has said, “Somebody knows something. Nobody lives in total isolation in today’s world. And I’m asking that person – please, help us out.”
As of March 2018, the murders of Liberty German and Abigail Williams remain unsolved.
SPECULATION AND THEORY: With such a seemingly significant evidence trail, it baffles the mind that no genuine suspects have been found in the ensuing investigation. Couple this evidence trail with the high amount of publicity this case has received, particularly after the girls' families appeared on an episode of The Dr Phil Show in late 2017, and the continuing anonymity of the girls' murderer (or murderers) is inexplicable.
It also remains unclear whether the murders were targeted, or opportunistic. Either way, does this seemingly sexually driven murder of two young girls end as an isolated incident, or is this the beginning of a series of similar killings? Two teenaged girls don't fit the mould of targets of an individual killing, it's hard to imagine that anyone organised enough to carry out these murders without getting themselves easily caught would have held a grudge against these two young girls large enough to warrant murdering them. So, in saying that, this fits the description of a sexually motivated killing, and sexually compulsive killers rarely (if ever) stop at one offence.
As chilling as it may be to think about, is it only a matter of time before the Delphi murderer strikes again?
If you know of anything that could help solve the murders of Liberty German and Abigail Williams, you are encouraged to contact investigators directly, with all relevant contact information to be found here: http://www.in.gov/isp/delphi.htm