Local law enforcement authorities said Wednesday they were investigating the deaths of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, as homicides after their bodies were discovered Tuesday by a creek in northern Indiana. The two girls were reported missing in Delphi, Indiana, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis, Monday when they disappeared after being dropped off at a local hiking trail, according to local reports Thursday.
A volunteer searching for the girls discovered their bodies roughly three-quarters of a mile away from the abandoned bridge where they were last seen Monday afternoon, according to local police. The girls were expected to meet with family members after their hike that evening, but when they never showed up, relatives called the police.
Police released a picture of a man walking on the Delphi Historic Trails at approximately the same time the girls were hiking there, according to local reports Wednesday. Investigators were asking the public to provice his identity so they could ask him if he saw anything suspicious. There were no suspects in custody as of Wednesday, but authorities said they had received hundreds of leads.
State Police Sgt. Kim Riley told local reporters Wednesday families in the community should keep a close eye on their children while an FBI investigation at the crime scene continues to sift through evidence. Amid the ongoing homicide investigations, authorities were not releasing the cause or manner of the girls’ deaths.
“The investigation is still in its baby steps, so to speak, and we don’t want to put that information out yet,” Riley told reporters. "Parents should make sure they know where their children are and what their children are doing, and if nothing else, know what's going on in their lives. That's the most important thing I can say at this point in time."
The news of the deaths has rattled the 3,000-person community where the two girls were both eighth graders at Delphi Community Middle School.
This was the first double homicide investigation in Carroll County, Indiana, police said. Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby asked anyone with information about the deaths to come forward.