DELPHI, Ind. -- The city of Delphi is moving forward with big upgrades to their trail system to increase safety in response to the murders of two teenage girls back in February.
The city received more than $176,000 in grants and donations from the community over the past few months to implement the changes. The money will go to improving the trails by adding lights and security cameras as well as markers.
“We want to bring an element of protection back to the people that come to the trails,” said Jacob Adams with the City of Delphi Community Development team.
The changes have been championed by the city’s trail taskforce team, which was created after Libby German and Abigail Williams were murdered.
Libby and Abby were hiking near the Monon High Bridge on February 13 when they first went missing. After hours of searching, their bodies were discovered in a nearby wooded area the next morning. Their killer remains on the loose, and their murders have brought the community together.
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“We all sat down, and we realized we weren’t going to live in a circumstance anymore,” said Adams. “We want to start living in a vision.”
In early July the task force set out to raise $50,000, so they could receive a matching grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority for the proposed upgrades to their trail system.
After numerous generous donations, the team now has over $176,000 to use on those upgrades to make the trails safer.
Some of the upgrades include security cameras, informational kiosks and Wi-Fi along the walkways as well as increased lighting along the entire trail.
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“The lighting aspect is obviously very important,” said Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby. “Even at our own homes, anytime we can enhance by adding additional lighting is a good thing.”
The task force will also be adding trail markers at every tenth mile so that if someone has to call 911 for help, they can tell dispatchers exactly where they are.
“We want you to come here and feel like we’ve done something for ourselves,” said Adams. “That they are safe again and secure.”
The trail force will begin implementing those improvements sometime in the next week, but it could take some time to complete them all.