DELPHI, Ind. -- “It’s not going to bea cold case, it’s not.”
Although a year has passed since themurders of Delphi teens Liberty German and Abigail Williams, Indiana StatePolice Superintendent Doug Carter says he will not let the case go cold beforetheir killer is found.
“I’ve said all along, as long as I’min this role and breathing, we’re not leaving the city of Delphi in CarrollCounty, Indiana, we’re just not,” said Carter. “And if we get to the pointwhere we have exhausted the leads that we currently have in the que then we’regoing to start all over again.”
Carter says television has givenpeople an unrealistic expectation about how cases like this work and that justbecause a detective on TV can solve a crime in the 45 minutes you’re watching,doesn’t make it real life.
In real life, Carter says thingsaren’t always as they appear, detectives don’t reveal their entire hand whenthey’re investigating a case, crimes don’t get solved in the time it takes towash a load of laundry and a case isn’t cold just because there hasn’t been anarrest.
“I’mnot going to ask you or your viewers to understand that. I don’t want them tounderstand evil or to live with that each and every day,” said Carter. “But Ithink people come to that conclusion based on time, not necessarily based onwhat we know and what we’ve even shared with everybody.”
In the past 12 months, investigatorshave received more than 30,000 tips and interviewed thousands of potentialsuspects but they are still waiting on that -one- solid tip that will lead themto Abby and Libby’s killer.
“There’s a person out there that knows who didit. Not a hunch. They know who that person is,” said Carter. “They know thatvoice and they know those clothes. They know that posture. They know thatstance and they know who murdered those two little girls in that quiet place.”
Delphi by the Numbers
- •Tips: Over 30,000 tips have come in to the tip line since Libby & Abby were murdered.
- •Reward: The reward for Libby and Abby’s killer now sits at over $240,000.
- •Interviews: Investigators have interviewed thousands of potential suspects based on the tips they've received.
- •Unrelated Arrests: More than 20 people have been arrested on unrelated charges because of the investigation.
- •Agencies Involved: Not including local police and detectives, more than 25 different departments from across the state have offered their time and resources to help find Libby and Abby’s killer.
Even a year later, the evidence released to the public has been minimal but here’s a look at everything we know about the case right now.
Girls Go Missing
Libby, 14,and her friend Abby, 13, were dropped off to go hiking along the Monon HighBridge trail. It was a beautiful February day and the girls were takingadvantage of the unseasonably warm weather and the rare day off from school todo some of the things they loved most: take photos and spend timetogether.
Official searches resumed the next morning, further out than before and it wasn't very long before one of those crews made the grim discovery. Two bodies lying in a wooded area, on a piece of private property less than a mile from where Libby and Abby were last seen alive.
A few hourslater, Indiana State Police and the Carroll County Sheriff's Department held ajoint press conference to identify the bodies as those of missing teens, Libbyand Abby.
No detailssurrounding the girls' cause of death were ever released in the case.
Socialmedia photos give snapshot of teens’ location
At roughly2:15, Libby posted a photo of her friend walking across the bridge tracks on Snapchat. That now iconic image was the lastknown photo of either girl alive and gives the only clue we have about whenexactly things took a turn.
It was acouple hours later when family members returned to pick up the girls andcouldn't get ahold of them. Several phone calls between family members andfriends trying to reach the girls were placed during this time and it wasn'tlong before searches began.
The man on the bridge
On February15, Indiana State Police released a photo taken from Libby’s cell phone thatdepicted a man walking along the tracks. Libby was heralded a “hero” by statepolice for having the presence of mind to begin recording.
In the daysthat followed, hundreds of tips poured in to the police and sheriff’sdepartment. Law enforcement officers from across the state, as well as the FBI,traveled to Delphi to assist the investigation and help sort through thosetips. A tip line was formed and a command center set up to handle all thingsrelated to Libby and Abby’s murders.
Audio clip ‘down the hill’ released by police
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 apparently on or near the Monon High Bridge on the day they went missing. State police said the video was taken during "criminal activity," but have not released any further specifics on what that activity might have been.
The full video from Libby's phone has not been released.
Propertyowner investigated and cleared
The man who owns the propertywhere Libby and Abby’s bodies were found, Ron Logan, was one of the first to beinvestigated. Early in the investigation detectives did a thorough search ofLogan’s property and background to determine if he may have had any connectionto the crimes.
Speculations continued afterLogan was arrested on unrelated charges connected to a probation violation butpolice have remained clear that Logan is not considered a suspect in Libby andAbby’s murders.
Five monthsinto the investigation, on July 17, Indiana State Police released a sketch anddescription of a suspect.
The compositesketch was created after state police said they received new information frompeople who were in the area at the time the girls went missing.
The suspectis described as a white man between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10, weighing 180-220pounds with reddish brown hair and unknown eye color. Detectives say the hatthe man is wearing in the sketch was not drawn to the description so that theycould better show off the man’s facial features.
First ‘person of interest’ named & investigated
Months laterafter a completely unrelated arrest in Colorado, Daniel Nations made headlinesafter the internet began comparing his mugshot to the sketch of the Delphikiller.
Nation’s criminalhistory didn’t help his case. He had moved from Indiana and was a registeredsex offender in multiple counties. He also had active warrants in Bartholomewand Johnson counties. His crimes in Colorado involved a trail, a weapon and abunch of speculation surrounding possible other crime connections.
Nations was the first man Indiana State Police would name a “person of interest” in the case and detectives even flew to Colorado to interview him and compare investigation information with detectives there. He was arrested for allegedly threatening people with a hatchet along a trail in El Paso County, Colorado and eventually plead guilty to a charge of menacing in January.
Nations was transferred to Clear Creek County, Colorado where he was wanted by police after providing a false identification to police officers.
The day he was to be released for his crimes in Clear Creek County, Colorado “on his own recognizance,” Nations was arrested again on a warrant out of Johnson County, Indiana for failing to register as a sex offender while he was living in Greenwood.
The Johnson County warrant, issued in September, originally only allowed extradition from other counties in the state of Indiana. The warrant was updated by the Johnson County prosecutor on January 10 to allow extradition from anywhere in the United States, according to records obtained by Call 6 Investigates.
Nations also has an outstanding warrant out of Bartholomew County for indecent exposure.
Nations was extradited back to Indiana, but police are still not calling him a suspect and have not made any public attempt to connect him further to the crime.