DELPHI, Ind. – Indiana State Police clarified Wednesday that the two different sketches released in the Delphi double murder investigation are of two people and the man depicted in the first sketch is no longer considered a person of interest in the case.
Police say the sketch released on Monday is representative of the face of the person captured in the video on one of the girl’s cell phones as he was walking on a bridge. He’s described as having a youthful appearance, but could fall in the age range from his 20s to late 30s.
According to ISP, the person’s appearance could look different today if he has grown a mustache, beard or let his hair grow longer or cut his hair shorter than depicted in the sketch.
“In the early days and months of the Delphi Murder investigation information was developed about suspect descriptions. It was initially believed the sketch that has been in public view over the last two years of a person in the age range of his 40s to 50s was a person of interest in this murder investigation,” wrote ISP in a press release. “Now, as the investigation has matured and past information has been reassessed, it is the belief of investigators with the Multi-Agency Task Force that the person depicted in the sketch released on April 22 more accurately represents the person wanted for the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German.”
On Tuesday, a source told CBS4 the recently released sketch was drawn just days after the bodies of Abigail Williams and Liberty German were discovered. It’s unclear at this time why the sketch was withheld. ISP on Wednesday would not share specifics on why they are going with this new sketch now.
Gil Zamora is a forensic art expert our of California. He is certified by the FBI but he has not ties to this case. His website says he's completed over 3,000 sketch interviews and helped solve more than a thousand investigations with his composite sketches.
In his experience, releasing a sketch two years after it's drawn is not common but he sees how it can happen.
"Now new information has come up allows you to believe that that information was more reliable than you thought," said Zamora.
Brian Jarvis, a retired police chief in New York and long time investigator says it's possible new information may have be behind the newly released sketch.
"It could have been that they received new information, an alibi may have come in, or something that might have changed," Jarvis said.
Jarvis has been a lead detective for other high profile cases such as the Aileen Wuornos case. He says while police may have held onto the second sketch for years, it doesn’t mean they weren’t following up on it.
"You may have leads like this one, this picture, that didn’t have a lot of value initially for whatever reason, and they were trying to build up the value to get a more accurate depiction of what this lead represented," he said.
Jarvis added without being involved in the investigation, he can’t say for sure what led to the release.
Along with the second sketch, officers also released new video, audio and information regarding the double murder case. Detectives now believe they're looking for someone who lives in Delphi or used to live in the city.
ISP Superintendent Doug Carter also said investigators were looking for the owner of a vehicle found abandoned on the east side of County Road 300 North next to the Hoosier Heartland Highway between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. The vehicle was parked at the old CPS/DCS/Welfare building, police said.
Members of the Delphi community are asked to reflect back on people they know in the community that look similar to the sketch released on Monday, especially if that person has changed their appearance since the murders occurred in February of 2017.
Anyone with tips can call the tip line at 844-459-5786 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.