DELPHI, Ind. (AP/WANE) — The grandfather of one of two northern Indiana girls slain last month spoke Thursday morning at a news conference in Delphi, Indiana.
Mike Patty, 14-year-old Liberty German’s grandfather touched on how the killings have affected the family and he made a plea to the public.
Indiana State Police did not discuss specific details of the ongoing double-murder investigation.
German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams were found dead Feb. 14 in a rugged, wooded area near Delphi. They had vanished the day before while hiking.
“This horrible crime has put a hole in our family that will never heal,” said Patty at one point during the news conference.
When asked how he’d react to an arrest Patty responded, “l’ll try to be a Christian man. I’ll put more thought to that.”
Patty said that donations being collected would be used to build a softball diamond in memory of Libby and Abby since both were avid players.
Authorities have released two grainy photographs of a man considered the main suspect in the killings and audio of a male saying “down the hill.”
Police say the images and audio were captured by German’s cellphone. They’ve called her a hero for recording potentially crucial evidence in the case.
“I don’t know exactly what happened out there that day, but I imagine there was probably an opportunity to separate and try to make a break in different ways, but those girls loved each other. They were good friends. Neither one of them left each other’s side. Both those girls are heroes,” Patty said.
A reward fund for information leading to an arrest in the case has grown to nearly $224,000.
The police tip line for the case is 844-459-5786. Tips can also be reported by emailing Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.
So far 11,000 tips have been received and there’s a vetting process to make sure new tips aren’t duplicates. Two-thousand of those have been cleared.
Investigators want anyone who thinks they know anything to call or email the tip line because no one knows if the killer or killers are from the Delphi area.
Sgt. John Perrine with the Indiana State Police indicated that so far word that the case is similar to one in Iowa is so far just a coincidence.
“Spreading those nonfactual rumors could be detrimental. It could slow the process. We are asking people that if you see something on social media, if you hear something make sure it comes from a reliable source. That reliable source will likely be the Indiana State Police,” Perrine said.
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