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Investigation ongoing two-years after murders of Abby Williams, Libby German in Delphi

DELPHI, Ind. - It’s been two years since Abby Williams and Libby German went missing during a hike on the Delphi Historic Trails on Feb. 13, 2017. Their bodies were found the next day.

And still, the person who killed them has not been found.

From the beginning, police have released very little in this investigation. But they say this is not a cold case and remains an active investigation.

An admission from the Carroll County Sheriff early on revealed DNA was found at the scene.

“We asked for a fast-track as far as that piece information,” said Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby in February 2017.

Police won’t discuss even now what DNA was found or why no one has been arrested two years and more than 38,000 tips later.

“We’re getting approximately 10-12 tips in a day,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley. “Over 1,100 subjects that we have looked at.”

When this started, Strand Diagnostics spoke generally about the process of DNA testing. They’re not working the Delphi case.

“It can be items found at the crime scene such as a cigarette butt or a bottle or a cup or a straw,” said Dr. Gay Bush with Strand Diagnostics in 2017. “It can be bodily fluids.”

Bush said DNA helps, but it doesn’t always solve a crime.

“The science is excellent, it’s very trustworthy,” she said in 2017.

In 2018 came fresh hope with the arrest of John Miller, who admitted to killing 8-year-old April Tinsley in Ft. Wayne 30 years earlier.

That case was solved with DNA evidence by Parabon Nanolabs. Investigators in the Delphi case worked closely with those who cracked the Tinsley case to see if their methods or findings could help solve the murders of Abby and Libby. Parabon Nanolabs declined an interview and state police would not say if the same test was being used in the investigation.

But their website shows technology can match DNA to someone already in a database. It can also use information about physical appearance found in the genes “to generate new leads on unknown suspects.”

CBS4 asked Indiana State Police why the investigation has taken two years if DNA evidence was recovered. Sgt. Riley responded only, “I’m not going to make a comment on that.”

Early on, police released a photo and audio of the suspected killer that Libby recorded on her phone, with the suspect telling the girls to go “down the hill.”

Police say Libby recorded more video and audio that they still won’t release.

“When we do catch the person or persons that were involved in this, we want to make sure that we have the right person,” Sgt. Riley said. “They will know information that we don’t want everybody out there to know.”

Over the years, several leads made headlines.

Daniel Nations from Indiana was arrested in Colorado in September 2017 for an alleged attack there.

In January 2019, Charles Eldridge was arrested in Indiana, accused of trying to arrange sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Of Eldridge, Sgt. Riley said only that, “he’s just another name that we’ve received.”

Police publicly call no one, including Nations and Eldridge, a suspect, but say they, and over 1,100 others, are not ruled out.

Anyone with tips can submit those via the following:

  • Email: Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com
  • Tip Line: (844) 459-5786
  • Indiana State Police: (800) 382-7537
  • Carroll County Sheriff: (765) 564-2413

Right now, the reward is over $240,000.

Police are holding a press conference at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13, in Delphi.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said Parabon Nanolabs was working the Delphi case, but that is not accurate. An updated version of the story correctly states investigators in the Delphi case worked closely with those on the Tinsley case to see if their methods would be helpful. 

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