On February 14, 2017, the dead bodies of two young girls, Liberty German and Abigail Williams, were found near Old Monon High Bridge in Delphi, Indiana, in the US. According to local police, the 13- and 14-year-old girls had gone for a walk, and their final moments can be pieced together from recordings the girls made on their phones.
But what makes this case stand out is the fact that an audio and video recording of the person who is believed to be the killer was found on the smartphone of one of the murdered girls. This man can clearly be seen and heard as he approaches the girls. Yet despite releasing the recording to the public, the man in the video has never been identified, and no-one has ever been arrested for the murders.
Quiet Afternoon Walk
It was a warm day in Delphi, and the two best friends went for a walk at 1:35 pm at the Monon High Bridge trail over Deer Creek. This place was largely woodland, only 2km (1.2 miles) out of the town. Libby used her phone around 2:09 pm to upload one photograph into Snapchat, of Abby walking on the bridge.
The girls were to be picked up by Mike Patty, Libby’s grandfather and legal guardian. They were supposed to meet in the car park of the trail at 3:15 pm, but they never showed up. The families of these girls started looking for them by 5 pm, and almost the entire town of 3,000 joined along with police to find the girls by 6 pm. The search teams again resumed on the next day as the girls were still not found.
At noon the next day, a searcher discovered the bodies of the girls about 15 m (49 feet) from the north bank of Deer Creek. The bodies were found on the property of a man called Ron Logan, who was 77 years old and was quickly dismissed as a suspect. The bodies were found around 800 m (0.5 miles) away from the Monon High Bridge, where Libby had taken the photograph of Abby the previous afternoon.
Caught On Camera
Audio clips, video clips, and photos were taken from Libby’s phone. These include several separate clips where the girls are seen meeting with a man on the bridge that afternoon. This man is therefore, if not the murderer, one of the last people to see the girls alive.
On February 15, 2017, the police released pictures that were taken from a cell phone. In the images, a white man wearing blue jeans, a hoodie, and a blue jacket or coat is seen. Police named that man as a person of interest in the case.
The first audio clip in Libby’s phone was released by police on February 22, 2017, a week after the murders. The audio lasts only a few seconds, and consists of the voice of a man saying “Down the hill.”
This audio was released without any attached video. Police at the time said that they also had a video of the murderer telling both girls to proceed down the hill. They did not explain further however and did not release the video at this point.
After over two years, the Indiana State Police, on April 22, 2019, released an additional audio segment including the word “Guys” before “Down the hill.” Even though the new audio appeared to have a different voice, Superintendent Doug Carter of Indiana State Police assured people that it was the same person.
The Indiana State Police, on the same press conference on April 22, also released the “bridge guy” video recorded by Libby on the day of her murder. The video was of a man who was walking on the bridge behind Abby and Libby.
Carter asked whether anyone recognized the walk of the person as his walk did not appear natural. This might however be due to deterioration in the bridge making it difficult to walk on. The video was the source of the stills the police circulated in 2017 as a person of interest.
This eye-catching evidence is still fairly minimal, and police have confirmed they have additional video and audio they have not released to the public. They have released two additional grainy pictures from that video and created two sketches of the suspect based on witness reports.
Police also felt the man would likely be familiar with the city of Delphi. On April 22, 2019, Carter said that he went himself to the bridge and saw that the ties were deteriorating. It sways, and it is not someplace where one can walk straight. Carter’s opinion was that whoever had been seen up there had walked on the bridge before.
Indiana State Police revealed their first sketch of the suspect after five months of the murder investigation. The sketch was made after the police received information from witnesses in the area at the time Abby and Libby went missing. Police described the suspect as a man between 18 to 40 years old, although he could also look much younger than his actual age.
The sketches were created as per two individual witnesses who were in that location on the day of the murder. The police later unveiled the second sketch, which was a more precise suspect’s description, and the actual murder suspect may look a mix between the two sketches.
In the April 2019 press conference, the police asked the public to help identify a driver whose vehicle was parked near the bridge on the day the girls went missing. Carter says that a vehicle at the CPS/DCS Welfare building in the city of Delphi was parked unattended for five hours on the day of the murders. No other details apart from this were released.
The Investigation Is Ongoing
Even many years later the murder remains unsolved, with the police still receiving new clues. Someone must recognize the person in the video. Someone must recognize his voice. The investigators are trying to make all possible connections, and there is still hope that the murderer will be found one day.
Top Image: Despite good quality video and audio of the potential killer, no arrests have been made. Source: pxfuel / Public Domain.
By Bipin Dimri