DELPHI — Law enforcement officials released a new sketch, as well as extended audio and video, of the suspect they believe killed two teen girls from Delphi in February 2017.
Police also said they are looking for information about a vehicle that had been spotted parked on the day of the killings at the former CPS/DCS Welfare building in Delphi. No description of the vehicle — year, color, make or model — was released by investigators.
Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said the vehicle was abandoned on the east side of County Road 300 North next to the Hoosier Heartland Highway between noon and 5 p.m. Feb. 14, 2017.
That’s when the bodies of the two teens, Liberty German and Abigail Williams, were discovered near the Monon High Bridge Trail in Delphi one day after a relative dropped the girls off for a two-hour hike. When they failed to show on an agreed-upon pick-up time, an all-out search for them began.
Investigators at the time released a grainy video of a man they believed to be the killer from German’s cell phone. The man in the video can be heard saying, “Down the hill.” Months later, a sketch of the suspect — obtained from witnesses who believe they saw the man — was released.
Before Monday, no other new information had been released.
Carter played an extended snippet of that previously released footage showing a man walking toward the girls on the bridge. The man can also be heard saying, “Guys … Down the hill.”
“Please keep in mind the person talking is one person, and is the person on the bridge with the girls,” said an emotional Carter, who had to pause several times during Monday’s press conference at the Wabash & Erie Canal Conference & Interpretive Center in Delphi. “This is not two different people speaking. Please listen to it very, very carefully.”
Carter also asked that people watch the mannerisms of the person in the video, saying that someone may recognize it as belonging to someone they may know.
The new sketch police released Monday appears to show a much younger suspect than the initial drawing released nearly two years ago.
“The result of new information and intelligence over time leads us to believe the (new) sketch … is the person responsible for the murders of these two little girls,” Carter said.
Carter said investigators believe the suspect is from Delphi and may be currently living, working or visiting the city on a regular basis. The suspect is male and is believed to be between 18 and 40 years old.
“But he might appear younger than his age,” Carter said.
Carter had a message for the suspected killer, who he said might be watching on TV or in attendance at the press conference.
“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,” he said. “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.
“One day, you will.”
In announcing the press conference on Friday, investigators stated the case had taken “a 90-degree turn.”
Carter said investigators are “confident” the suspect has told someone about killing the girls, or “at the very least, they know because of how different you are since the murders.”
Carter said the investigation is ramping up and “we are now just beginning.”
“I believe you have just a little bit of conscious left, and I can assure you that how you left them in that woods is not what they’re experiencing today,” he said. “I just want the family to know that when I take my last breath on this earth, I will be thinking of them.”
Investigators did not take questions during or after the press conference.