LAFAYETTE, Ind. – As the search continues for Libby and Abby's killer, several in Delphi are finding ways to help keep the girls' memory alive.
Volunteers are collecting caps from water bottles, laundry detergent containers, medicine bottles and deodorants that will be used to build benches for the girls' memorial ballpark.
Each one is a treasure, donated by schools, businesses, friends and strangers from across the country.
“We’ve probably gathered at least 10,000 pounds,” said Marilyn Mikels, Libby’s great aunt, who launched the effort this past summer. "We decided this would be a good project to keep this story alive."
The bottle caps are sorted by children at local schools, bagged up, put on a truck and then hauled away to Evansville.
That’s where Green Tree Plastics grinds up the bottle caps, melts them down and molds them into benches and picnic tables.
So far, they’ve created more than a dozen benches and picnic tables that will be placed at the future memorial ballpark for Abby and Libby.
“It’s just brought the community together, and it’s their small way of helping out,” said Mikels.
The benches are purple and turquoise because they’re Abby and Libby’s signature colors, and the same colors of the ribbons tied after they were found.
Marilyn Mikels has had a lot of help, including Cindy Troxell who works at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and coordinates with Green Tree.
“It’s just important to keep Abby and Libby’s names out there,” said Troxell.
Brad Young makes the trips to Evansville, and on his truck, uses a banner honoring Abby and Libby.
"I get a lot of honking, a lot of people recognize us,” said Young. “It makes me feel really good.’
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Lafayette Instrument is storing the bottle caps before they can be hauled away.
“We have a large warehouse, so I just said hey we'll store them," said Todd Hooker with Lafayette Instrument. “It's pretty awesome, pretty awesome. That they can make caps into these benches."
The benches will become a message to the killer that this community can’t be broken.
“We’re not going to stop, we’re going to come together, and he’s not going to beat us,” said Mikels.
You can drop off bottle caps at the 40 & 8 in Lafayette, 1421 N Creasy Ln, Lafayette, the VFW, and Hometown Shirts and Graphix, 101 S Washington St in Delphi.
Volunteers are seeking financial donations to help create the benches and tables, which cost hundreds of dollars apiece.
You can contact MARILYNMIKELS@YAHOO.COM .