"I think what makes us human is those choices - whether to tell the truth or not."
It was the 13th of February 2017. A Monday. Thirteen year old Abby Williams and fourteen year old Libby German had the day off from school so they decided to go for a walk at a walking trail near to where they lived. It was warmer than it normally would be for that time of year and they wanted to be outside. They lived in Delphi, Indiana, United States.Abby lived with her mother Anna and Libby lived with her grandparents.
Libby and Abby
The two girls were the best of friends, they went to the same school and played volleyball together. Outside school hours, they loved to spend time with each other. That day, the 13th of February, was no different. They went to the Delphi Historic Trails near the Monon High Bridge at 1.45 pm.
Monon High Bridge
Their plan was to stay there until around 3pm and Libby's father had agreed to collect them to bring them home. But when the time came for them to be collected, there was no sign of the girls. He called and left a message for Libby at 3.11pm to let her know he was just there and to head to their meeting spot. He arrived at 3.14pm and called again but there was answer. He presumed they lost track of time as Libby had been posting photos of them on the bridge and videos to her social media account so he continued trying to call them but there was no answer. He looked around the area and called his mother, Becky, at 3.30pm. She also tried to reach Libby but there was no answer. She called her husband at 4pm and they went out looking for the girls.
Photo Libby posted from the Bridge
At that point they were concerned that one of the girls may have been hurt. But the truth was much more devastating.
They reported Abby and Libby missing at 5.30pm and within a short period, there were hundreds of people searching for the girls.
The search continued and the next day, shortly after noon, the bodies of the two girls were found around half a mile from the bridge in a wooded area. It was fifty feet from Deer Creek.
The residents of Delphi were stunned. Two young girls out in the middle of the day brutally murdered was not something that anyone had expected. Autopsies were carried out but police did not reveal how the girls died or what injuries they had. They wanted to conceal it until they found the person who had murdered them.
Libby and Abby
A lead in the case came from an unexpected source: Libby's phone. A video clip on Libby's phone showed a man walking slowly across the bridge towards the girls. There was an audio clip on her phone, a voice says:
" Guys,down the hill."
The video, audio and a grainy image of the man was released to the public. A sketch was also shared along with a description.
The FBI said the suspected killer is a white man who weighs between 180 and 200 pounds. He stands between 5 feet, 6 inches tall and 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and was wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket or coat and a hoodie. The sketch was based on the testimony of eyewitnesses who saw a man walking on the bridge around the time the girls first went missing.
Since then , there have been thousands of tips, a lot of rumours and speculation and theories but no arrests have been made. To confuse matters, a second sketch was released in 2019. The sketch was drawn shortly after the murders but was only released to the public two years later. In the second sketch, the man looks younger than the first one and police said that the second one takes precedence over the first one.
Police believe that whoever killed the girls has a connection to Delphi. The hiking trail is visited mostly by people from the area and who know the area well as it is too remote for others to just casually come across it.
Doug Carter, superintendent of the Indiana State Police, said new information leads investigators to believe that the killer is from Delphi. They did not reveal what that new information is.
Police have not confirmed many details in this case. They did not release details of how the girls died or whether DNA evidence was collected at the crime scene. They also did not reveal if there was any further audio/videos on Libby's phone. However, in Indiana, DNA evidence can be collected from anyone simply accused of a felony, not just from someone already convicted of a crime, so if they did collect DNA from the crime scene, that will undoubtedly be hugely helpful.
The footage of the man on the bridge is not great quality footage but anyone who knows that man would be able to identify him especially from his walk and voice. No matter how hard it is, two young girls were murdered and the most important thing now is for the truth to be revealed. If you have any information about this case, tip details are below:
Tip Information Contacts
Tip Line: (844) 459-5786
Indiana State Police: (800) 382-7537
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“She's not with me, and she's not with my parents, and at that moment I know that my sister's dead.”
- Alayne Katz, Gail's sister
"Madness, as you know, is a lot like gravity. All it takes is a little push."
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