THE MURDERS OF ABIGAIL WILLIAMS AND LIBERTY GERMAN
On February 14, 2017, the bodies of Abigail “Abby” Williams and Liberty “Libby” German were discovered on a hiking trail in Delphi, Indiana, United States, after the young girls had disappeared from the same trail the previous day. The murders have received significant media coverage due to the fact that a photo and audio recording of a man believed to be the girls’ murderer was found on German’s cell phone. Despite the photo and audio recording of the suspect being released to the public by police, and over 26,000 tips being sent to police, no arrests have been made in the case.
At 1:45 p.m. on February 13, 2017, two friends, 13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German, were dropped off by a family member at an abandoned bridge where they planned to go hiking. The girls were reported missing at 5:30 p.m. after they did not arrive to be picked up from the bridge. Authorities initially did not suspect foul play was involved in the disappearance until the bodies of the girls were found at noon the next day, about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) from the bridge. The bodies were discovered around noon on February 14, 2017 about 50 feet from the north bank of Deer Creek.
Police have not publicly stated how the girls were murdered.
On February 15, police released a photo of a man they wanted to speak to about the murders, but did not officially identify him as a suspect until February 19. Police later released an audio recording of the suspect allegedly saying “Down the hill”. The photo and voice recording were taken from German’s cell phone. Authorities have indicated that more evidence relating to the suspect was found on the phone, but it will not be released so as not to “compromise any future trial”. As of June 16, police had received an estimated 18,000 tips, with four to five new tips coming in daily.
Police released a composite sketch and description of the suspect on July 17. He is described as a white male between 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) and 5 feet 10 inches (178 cm) tall, weighing between 180 (82 kg) and 220 pounds (100 kg) with reddish brown hair.
In August 2017 the girls’ families announced plans to construct a $1 million sports complex in Delphi in their memory.
In response to a request from the girl’s families, homeowners across central Indiana have installed orange light bulbs on their front porches, both to honor the slain girls and to indicate that their murderer remains at large