‘Person of interest’ in Delphi case was in 2 Indiana jails after killings

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (WANE) – A man arrested in Woodland Park, Colorado, and officially named a person of interest in the Delphi double homicide was actually in two different Indiana jails within days and months of the killings of 13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German, NewsChannel 15 has learned.

Police in Colorado are looking at “similarities” between the fatal shooting of a mountain biker two weeks ago in El Paso County, Colorado and the February murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German in Dephi, Indiana. On Friday, Indiana State Police detectives joined them to interview 31-year-old Daniel James Nations, WISH-TV in Indianapolis reported.

Jacque Kirby with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office told Denver CBS affiliate KCNC she had been asked by Indiana investigators not to comment any further on the case.

Arrested in Colorado on weapons charges

Sgt. Kim Riley with the Indiana State Police, though, told Newschannel 15 this week that state police are working to determine if Nations could be a suspect in the Delphi double murder investigation. Riley said there is nothing right now that definitively connects him to their investigation, but said detectives were working to learn whether Nations had been in the area around February, when the bodies of Abby and Libby were found off a Delphi trail.

Turns out, Nations was in the Morgan County Jail 10 days later, for four days, and in the Johnson County Jail for 11 hours from April 25 until 5 a.m. April 26, for driving on a suspended license and possession of paraphernalia.

Nations is now jailed in the Teller County, Colorado, for allegedly threatening hikers with a hatchet – in the same area a mountain biker was shot dead days prior. According to El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies, a mountain biker was found dead from a gunshot wound on a trail near Monument, Colorado, on September 19.

Police had no leads until Monday, when Nations was arrested.

According to a Woodland Park, Colorado, police affidavit obtained by Newschannel 15, Nations was apprehended in a vehicle with his wife and two children. In the vehicle, which had expired Indiana tags, police found a hatchet and a .22-caliber rifle in the trunk – the same caliber that was used to kill the bicyclist.

Nations has not officially been named as a suspect in the death of the bicyclist.

For reasons yet to be fully explained, Colorado investigators noticed “similarities” between the shooting of the mountain biker and the deaths of Abby and Libby in Delphi. Nations has a Greenwood, Indiana, address, which lies just southeast of Indianapolis, approximately a 1.5 hour drive from Delphi.

He’s also listed on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender website. He was originally convicted of indecent exposure in South Carolina in 2007.

Daniel Nations (Johnson County Jail)

Court records show Nations has a string of arrests for driving on a suspended license. He was also convicted of a domestic battery felony on April 1st, 2016 in Morgan County and was sentenced to time in jail.

Currently he is wanted in Johnson County, Indiana for failure to appear in court and failure to register as a sex offender.

Back in Carroll County, Indiana, Sgt. Riley told NewsChannel 15 that investigators continue to work to solve the killings of Libby and Abby. They’ve got help – state police have received more than 1,000 tips that include photos of people who are believed to be similar in appearance to the composite sketch.

“Each and everyone of these tips are investigated for any potential connection to our case,” he said. “We will give the same attention to the person arrested in Colorado.”

Currently Nations is being held in the Teller County Jail in Colorado on $10,000 bond. He has not been charged or named a suspect or person interest in the Colorado shooting or in the Delphi murder investigation in Indiana.