DELPHI, Ind. -- Who were Liberty German and Abigail Williams?
In a press conference on Thursday, Liberty’s grandfather gave the world a glimpse into the lives of the two slain Delphi teens.
“Abby and Libby loved each other,” said Mike Patty. “This horrible crime has torn a hole in our families that will never heal.”
Patty's remarks were the first public statements made by either family since the girls went missing on February 13 and were ultimately found dead the next day. He thanked law enforcement and the community for their support.
“There are too many ways to count how our lives will forever be impacted,” said Patty. “It’s the small things that hurt the most.”
Things like yelling that dinner is ready, or it’s time to get up for school – calls he said now go unanswered.
Patty remembers his granddaughter and Abby as two close friends who enjoyed the outdoors and playing softball together.
“Just the day before all of this happened they had their equipment out playing catch and working on their batting in the backyard,” said Patty. “They will never get to play a single inning again.”
Because of their love for softball, a tournament has been organized in their memory.
Patty said no one could break the bond the two girls shared – even their killer.
“They stuck together. I don’t know exactly what happened out there that day, but I imagine there was probably an opportunity for one, or both, to separate and try to make a break different ways, but those girls loved each other,” said Patty. “They were good friends, neither one of them left each other’s side.”
Patty recalled a phrase that Libby often used when asked to do something like pick up her shoes, “I will – in a minute,” she would say.
He’s now asking the public to give her that “one minute” and to study the photo and listen to the audio that police have released to help find the girls’ killer.
“Someone out there knows this person or persons. He’s someone’s neighbor, coworker, family member, friend, husband or acquaintance,” said Patty.
The photo and audio Patty referenced are two key pieces of evidence that Indiana State Police said Liberty German captured on her cell phone the day that she died: A photo of a man police have labeled a suspect in the girls' murders and audio of a man's voice saying "down the hill." You can listen to that recording below.
Patty said it doesn’t surprise him that Liberty left police with that evidence because photography was one of her passions. It was the reason the girls were on the Monon High Bridge that Monday afternoon.
“She’s kind of a photo buff anyway, that’s why the girls were out there taking pictures,” said Patty. “That’s why they were out there in the first place – to catch the scenery.”
Police said more than 11,000 tips have been received by investigators and they are looking through each one. They are still encouraging people to submit any information they may have to the Delphi tip line at (844) 459-5786 or 1-800-225-5324 (800-Call FBI).