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Colorado Arrest May Be Break In Delphi, Ind. Murders

(CBS) – Authorities in Colorado reportedly are trying to determine whether an Indiana sex offender detained this week near Colorado Springs is linked with the February murder of two teen girls on a nature trail in New Delphi, Ind.

Daniel Nations was arrested Monday in connection with reports of a man threatening people with a hatchet at a trail in Monument, Colo. earlier this month. A bicyclist was fatally shot in that area around the same time.

Nations is being held in the Teller County jail. He's been charged with possession of a weapon by a previous offender. Other charges are pending, reports CBS Denver. 

Daniel Nations
Daniel Nations (Teller County, Colo. Sheriff)

The CBS station reports authorities are considering Nations' possible connection to the bicyclist's death, as well as to the murders of Abigail J. "Abby" Williams, 13, and 14-year-old Liberty Rose Lynn "Libby" German.

The teen girls were killed in February while hiking in Delphi, Ind., a community of about 3,000 people, some 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The girls' bodies were found about a quarter-mile from an abandoned railroad bridge that's part of a trail system where the teens had planned to go hiking during a day off from school.

Nations is a convicted sex offender, CBS Denver reports (a Daniel S. Nations is listed on the sex offender registry in Indiana). He was arrested this week in Woodland Park, Colo. driving a vehicle with expired Indiana license plates. Police found a hatchet and a .22-caliber rifle in the vehicle, according to an affidavit.

Some public documents indicate Nations is 32; others, that he is 31.

An official with the El Paso County Sheriff's office tells CBS Denver there are "many similarities" in the cases but she says police in Indiana have requested no further information be released to the public.

"They have asked us not to speak on their case. So I'm not at liberty to elaborate on anything that's related to what happened in Indiana," the official said.

An Indiana State Police spokesperson, Sgt. Kim Riley, says his agency is aware of the Colorado arrest, but it's too early to draw a connection.

"Please keep in mind the Indiana State Police has received more than a thousand photos of persons alleged to be similar in appearance to the composite sketch of the Delphi person of interest," Riley said in a prepared statement. "Each and everyone of these tips are investigated for any potential connection to our case.

"We will give the same attention to the person arrested in Colorado, but right now there is nothing that definitively connects this person to our investigation. If that should change -- with this tip, or any other tip -- rest assured we would be sharing such news with all media sources."

A reward in excess of $230,000 has been offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murders of the Indiana teens.

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