Search warrant served in case of slain Delphi, Indiana girls

Liberty German, left, and Abigail Williams

WTTV

DELPHI, Ind. -- Indiana state police, the FBI and Carroll County sheriff’s deputies were serving a search warrant Friday in connection with the slayings of two teens girls killed last month after going for a hike, reports CBS affiliate WTTV.

14-year-old Liberty German and her friend Abigail Williams were found slain Feb. 14, a day after they vanished while hiking on trails near Delphi, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Their bodies were found the next day in a rugged, wooded area near a stream east of the city of about 3,000 residents. 

The warrant is being served at the home of the owner of the 40-acre property were the girls were found dead, the station reports. The property owner is being held on a probation violation unrelated to the case, according to WTTV.  Investigators said they were looking for evidence that would link or clear the man in the girls’ deaths. Police said he is not considered a suspect at this time.

Indiana authorities say the investigation into the killings have led to 13 arrests, but that none of them are linked to those murders. Police have questioned more than 300 people in the killings based on over 13,000 tips from the public. Police say they’ve cleared more than 200 people they had received tips about as resembling a man seen in two grainy photos taken from one of the girl’s cellphones.

State police Sgt. Kim Riley tells WLFI-TV some people questioned by investigators haven’t been truthful because they have criminal records. That’s forced police to devote time to clearing them as potential suspects in the killings.

“If we receive a tip about a person and we go to talk with that person and we find out through the investigation they have maybe a warrant for failure to appear or another crime, we’re not gonna turn a blind eye and just let them go,” Sgt. Tony Solcum with Indiana State Police told WTTV.

It’s not clear whether the property owner was among the 13 arrested. Investigators said they were looking for evidence that would link or clear him in the girl’s deaths, the station reports.

Police have been tight-lipped about details in the case, and have not disclosed how the girls were killed or whether investigators collected DNA from the crime scene.

Carroll County Prosecutor Rob Ives has said about 70 subpoenas and three search warrants had been issued and served in connection with the case as of Tuesday.

Last week, Liberty German’s grandfather Mike Patty spoke publicly, calling both girls “heroes” and asking anyone with information to come forward.

Patty asked for the public to review grainy images of a man considered by the main suspect in the killings and audio of a male saying “down the hill.” The images and audio were found on Liberty’s cellphone.

“This horrible crime has torn a hole in our families that will never heal,” Patty said. 

The case has received national attention with a reward for information growing to more than $230,000.

Anyone with information should call the Delphi Murder Tip Line at 1-844-459-5786. Tips can also be reported by emailing abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.