Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby is cautiously optimistic about the possible connection between an arrest in Colorado and the murders of 13-year-old Abigail Joyce "Abby" Williams and 14-year-old Liberty Rose Lynn "Libby" German, both of Delphi.
“It is still in the preliminary stage, but we are putting a lot of resources into checking out this possible connection,” said Leazenby.
Currently, the FBI is looking into that possible connection and if it does check out, Indiana State Police and Carroll County officers could be in Colorado in the matter of days.
“There have been some similarities brought to our attention, but I cannot speak of the details,” said Leazenby. “The local FBI office in Lafayette has been in contact with FBI field agents in Colorado and they are looking into the case as we speak.”
Daniel Nations, 31, was arrested Monday after he allegedly threatened several people with a hatchet near a Colorado trail where a man was murdered two weeks ago. He was driving a vehicle with expired Indiana plates, according to Colorado police.
Nations is being held in the Teller County Jail. He's been charged with possession of a weapon by a previous offender. Other charges are pending.
According to a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, less than two weeks before Nations' arrest, a bicyclist was shot and killed on Mount Herman Road.
Jacqueline Kirby, media relations manager for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, told the Herald Journal that Colorado residents submitted tips to them that Nations or the homicide were somehow connected to the deaths of German and Williams.
“That information was passed on to police in Colorado, who relayed it to investigators in Indiana,” said Kirby.
Abby and Libby were hiking on the Monon High Bridge Trail when they went missing Feb. 13. Their bodies were found the following day on the bank of Deer Creek, less than a mile from the bridge.
Leazenby states that the public awareness on this case has been key on getting leads and keeping it in people’s minds.
“I was in Colorado last week for sheriff training and I was given the opportunity to present info about the case,” added Leazenby. “I don’t know if that helped in this coincidence, but it makes you think. When I heard the news, I was like ‘wow, I was just in Colorado.’ You just never know where the next lead will come from or take you.”