Six months, 24,000 tips later: Delphi killer remains on the run

DELPHI, Ind. -- For the small Indiana town of Delphi, it has been six long months since the murders of Liberty German and Abigail Williams. 

Police have received over 24,000 tips in the case and interviewed over 500 people, but so far no arrests have been made in connection with Libby and Abby's murders.  

Still, the investigative team says the case has not gone cold. 

Here’s what we know so far about the investigation:

Girls Go Missing

Libby, 14, and Abby, 13, went for a hike along the Monon High Bridge on February 13 to take some photos and enjoy the unusually warm day. The only images from that hike were captured in a Snapchat photo that Libby posted around 2:10 p.m. of Abby walking on the tracks and some photos and a separate video captured by Libby that is being used as evidence to help find the girls’ killer. Police have only released limited pieces of that evidence.

When Libby & Abby failed to return to their agreed upon meet-up location that afternoon, friends and family began searching for them. That search effort grew into the evening as the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department became involved and people from the community joined in.

Around midnight the search was called off for the evening, Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby told RTV6 that they didn’t believe the girls were in danger, but it was getting too late to search and crews would be out the next morning.

Friends and family continued searching randomly through the night with no signs of Libby and Abby.

 

TIMELINE | The disappearance and murders of Abby & Libby

Bodies Found

The official search resumed between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on February 14. It wasn’t long before volunteers discovered two bodies on a piece of private property less than a mile from the location Libby and Abby were dropped off the day before.  It was roughly four hours later that the bodies were officially identified as the girls.  

Suspect Image & Audio Released

On February 15, Indiana State Police released a photo taken from Libby’s cell phone that depicted a man walking along the tracks.

In the days that followed, hundreds of tips poured in to the police and sheriff’s department. Law enforcement officers from across the state, as well as the FBI, traveled to Delphi to assist the investigation and help sort through those tips. A tip line was formed and a command center set up to handle all things related to Libby and Abby’s murders.

The following Wednesday, February 22, Indiana State Police and the FBI released a short audio clip of a man saying “down the hill.” Police said the audio came from a video recording on Libby’s cell phone of a man who was following them. State police said the video was taken during "criminal activity," but have released any further specifics.

 

WATCH | 360 VIDEO: A tour of the Monon High Bridge Trail

Tips Pour In & Reward Grows

Thousands of tips were called in to the Delphi murder tip line over the first few weeks of the investigation. By the third month, investigators said they were reviewing over 16,000 tips and had conducted over 500 interviews related to the case.

A reward fund that was set up by the FBI also grew to massive proportions with donations coming in from citizens, businesses and celebrities like former Colts punter Pat McAfee and team owner Jim Irsay, who donated $97,000.

The FBI also began utilizing over 6,000 electronic billboards across the country to solicit information on the case.

DELPHI | Take 1 minute for justice for Abby & Libby

Suspect Sketch Released

Five months into the investigation, on July 17, Indiana State Police released a sketch and description of a suspect.

The composite sketch was created after state police say they received new information from people who were in the area at the time the girls went missing.

The suspect is described as a white man between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10, weighing 180-220 pounds with reddish brown hair and unknown eye color. Detectives say the hat the man is wearing in the sketch was not drawn to the description so that they could better show off the man’s facial features.

“We feel this is very important because it actually gives a better view of the person shown [in previous photos],” Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley said the day the sketch was released. “It gives you a little more facial features. It gives you a little more information on what you’re looking at, who the suspect might be. We feel that this is the same person [that is shown in the photo].”

 

Where The Investigation Stands

Since that sketch was released, Indiana State Police say the tipline has exploded with new information. Over 6,000 new tips have come in and Investigators are looking into each and every one to find anything that would help lead them to Libby and Abby’s killer. 

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Delphi by the Numbers:

  • Tips: Over 24,000 tips have come in to the tip line since Libby & Abby were murdered. State police say they are looking in to every one of them.
  • Reward: The reward for Libby and Abby’s killer now sits at over $240,000. Although the reward fund is not growing as much as it was at the beginning, donations are still pouring in to help fund a memorial softball field and other memorials in the girls’ names.
  • Interviews:  Police have interviewed over 500 potential suspects in the Delphi murder investigation based on the tips they have received. So far no arrests have been made in Libby and Abby’s murders.
  • Unrelated Arrests: Indiana State Police say they have arrested more than 20 people on unrelated charges because of the case. That includes a man who admitted to murdering his uncle 

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DELPHI DAUGHTERS | The Untold Stories of Who Abby & Libby Were | Delphi investigation: The latest on finding the killer | Delphi Daughters: Families tell their story for the first time | Delphi girls murdered: What is the evidence?

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