Rose Lynn “Libby” German, 14, and Abigail “Abby” J. Williams, 13, went on a hike on the Monon High Bridge Trail on Feb. 13, 2017. The two were dropped off by Libby’s older sister, Kelsi, on County Road 300 North at the Indiana trial around 1:35 p.m.
That was the last time anyone saw the teens alive.
Thirty minutes after the girls were dropped off, Libby posted a photo on her Snapchat account of Abby walking across the old railroad bridge at 2:07 p.m. They were set to be picked up later in the afternoon, but the girls never showed up.
At 5:30 p.m., the girls' families contacted local authorities and police quickly dispatched a search group for the pair since their phones could not be contacted.
The next day, two bodies were found along the north banks of Deer Creek. But, it was not immediately confirmed that these were the bodies of Libby and Abby.
It was a day later, on Feb. 15, when authorities spoke at a press conference in Delphi, Indiana, and confirmed it was the girls’ bodies. Police refused to share details regarding the girls’ cause of death, autopsies and other specific details but promised to work on the case.
When asked why the authorities were keeping a tight lip on these details, First Sgt. Jerry Holeman of the Indiana State Police shared with A&E Real Crime that they don’t “ever release information about ongoing investigations.”
The case became known as the Delphi murders and while the case has gone cold, police continue to investigate, develop new leads and ask for the public’s help. But, despite widespread publicity, the case hasn’t been solved. So what’s the delay?
Whether or not the police found DNA evidence near the bodies was not divulged, but a video clip of the girls’ likely attacker was shared through the media. Most likely taken moments before her death, Libby recorded a video of a man walking towards thetwo2 girls on the Monon High Bridge Trail.
Through this video, police released a photo of the man and an audio snippet wherein the suspect uttered the words “down the hill.”
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Through Libby’s quick thinking in recording the footage, the police found new evidence to advance the case and led to her being called a “hero” by Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum.
With this, the police released a sketch of what the girls’ likely killer looked like in July 2017, but a newer sketch was drawn by Master Trooper and released in April 2019, where Bryant used a “facial identification reference sheet” to draw the likely suspect’s features.
As of now, authorities are looking into James Brian Chadwell II, a 42-year-old man arrested on April 2021 after a body of a 9-year-old missing girl was found naked, beaten and covered in dog bites in his basement in Lafayette, Indiana.
Chadwell, who goes by the name Brian to differentiate himself from Chadwell Sr., was accused of luring his 9-year-old neighbor to pet his dogs and then snatching her.
The accused’s brother, Ashley Chadwell, told Inside Edition how his brother is “a monster” and “an absolute evil person,” further condemning Brian of the crime.
The police are looking into the “possible” connection between Chadwell and the Delphi murders. Yet once again, the local authorities refused to share further details in their investigation.
It has been four years since police started investigating the case, and the perpetrator remains at large. Abby and Libby’s friends have already graduated high school, but the mystery surrounding the girls’ deaths are far from being solved.
The police and the lack of information might have contributed to the delay, since the tips they’ve been receiving have been unreliable at best.
For authorities to progress, they may need to rethink their strategies and share informative details on the case, which can help locals do their part in advancing, if not closing, the case.
Since their current plan of action has seen no fruitful results in the past few years, it’s time to take on a new perspective. On the other hand, this possible connection between Chadwell may be a turning point in the authorities’ investigation and hopefully mark the beginning of some semblance of justice for the untimely death of Libby and Abby.
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