DELPHI, Ind. -- In the two months since two Delphi teens were killed, police have received more than 16,000 tips and have interviewed over 500 people from those tips, but they still have no suspects in the girls’ murders.
Although the numbers seem daunting as the days tick by, Indiana State Police Sergeant Kim Riley says investigators remain “very confident” that the person or persons responsible will be found.
It all started on February 13.
Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, were dropped off that afternoon to go hiking near the Monon High Bridge.
Liberty’s grandfather has said that she loved to take photographs, and the girls were taking advantage of the day off from school with the nice weather out on the trails.
It was the last time the girls would be seen alive.
When Libby and Abby didn’t return to their designated pick-up location hours later, family and friends began canvassing the area to find them.
Crews searched on and off throughout the night, worried the girls had gotten lost while hiking along the trail. It wasn’t until the next morning that a group of volunteers found their bodies on a piece of private property about a half a mile from where they were dropped off, near the shore of Deer Creek.
The first few days and weeks of the investigation were very fluent – investigators took their time collecting evidence and began their search for the killer.
After days without an answer, state police released two key pieces of evidence they thought would help break the case: A photo and an audio clip taken from Liberty’s cell phone on the day that she died.
But 59 days after the girls first went missing, police are still trying to find the man depicted in that photo.
THE SUSPECT | ISP wants to speak to this man and anyone who was near Delphi trail when two teens went missing | See somebody walking near Delphi? Call police | ISP on Delphi murders: "Everyone is a suspect" | New audio could help solve Delphi killings
The Early Days of the Investigation
In a city with a population of just under 3,000 people, the murders of Libby and Abby didn’t just affect their family and friends; they impacted the entire community.
The mystery surrounding their murders has brought national attention to the small Carroll County community.
Everyone became an investigator as the FBI joined the search for the Delphi killer. Flyers, billboards, and even commercials seeking information about what happened to Libby and Abby have popped up across the state and other parts of the country.
It’s been a constant struggle for investigators to keep rumors and fake information about the case from spreading.
State police have had to debunk dozens of arrest rumors, including multiple recurring ones that connect the man who owns the property where the girls were found, Ron Logan, to their murders.
INVESTIGATION | ‘Maybe in the future no one will be murdered in my backyard’ Delphi property owner sentenced | Logan pleads guilty to charges unrelated to Delphi girls' deaths | Delphi girls murdered: What is the evidence? | Prosecutor: Don’t harass people about Delphi
Both families have stayed mostly behind the scenes since Libby and Abby died.
Liberty German’s grandfather, Mike Patty, made a public appearance early in the investigation. He urged everyone to take just "one minute" to review the evidence that has been released. He said every tip is important and each one will be considered by investigators.
"They don't just go into a bucket," said Patty. "We are confident that together we can bring justice to those responsible for this horrible crime."
Investigators say calls spiked after Patty’s plea, but they have yet to find that one key piece of information that leads them to their suspect.
“We are still trying to narrow it down to the one person or persons responsible for this terrible crime,” said Sgt. Riley.
REMEMBERING LIBBY AND ABBY | German family friend: ‘She was a good kid’ | Who were Liberty German and Abigail Williams? | Grandparents of murdered teen leave message of support of investigators | ISP call Liberty German a 'hero' for capturing audio, photos of suspect | Abby's family speaks for first time since murders "she was a special little girl"
The Investigation Continues
Sgt. Riley says investigators remain focused and confident as they continue to sort through the thousands of tips that have come in. He said the volume has gone down over the weeks, but they are still receiving between 100-125 new tips each day.
Roughly 10 different agencies remain actively involved in the investigation and between 20 and 30 investigators continue working on the case each day, sorting through tips, searching for new leads and interviewing people based on the information they’ve received.
Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby says they are still awaiting some results from their investigation, but every day that passes brings them closer to solving the case.
As of Wednesday, $234,050 has been raised toward the reward fund to find the girls’ killer.
While detectives sift through their tips, the community support for the families of the two victims has not stopped.
Each week, new events are scheduled to raise money for the reward fund or the scholarships in memory of Libby and Abby.
A community effort to “Light up Delphi” has also grown far past the confines of Carroll County. People as far as Europe are changing out their porch light bulbs for orange bulbs in support of the girls’ families until their murders are solved.
Pictures and notes of thanks line the investigation’s headquarters in Delphi. Investigators remain confident and stand by their motto: “Today is the day.”
“We will resolve this case, and we will find justice for Liberty and Abby,” said Sheriff Leazenby.
Indiana State Police ask anyone who recognizes the man or the voice from the video below, or who may have any other information, to call the Tip Line at (844) 459-5786 or 1-800-225-5324 (800-Call FBI). Tips can also be emailed to Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com. Information can be reported anonymously.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT | Community members display orange lights in support of murdered teens' families | Indiana's 'Singing Contractors' record emotional tribute to Delphi murder victims | More Delphi businesses hold fundraisers for families of murdered teens | Nearly 5K raised for Delphi fund in pizza fundraiser | Hundreds gather for prayer vigil in support of murdered teens' families | Pat McAfee to Delphi: We got your back | Scholarship fund named after Liberty German | PHOTOS: Motorcycle fundraiser for families of Delphi murder victims | Benefit softball tournament organized in memory of Liberty and Abigail