On February 13, 2017, Abigail Williams, 14, and Liberty German, 13 went missing from a neighborhood hiking trail in Delphi, Indiana. A day later, their remains were found. The case remains unsolved but is being actively investigated.
Abigail had stayed over at Liberty’s house, as there was no school the following day. The girls had spent part of their day helping Liberty’s grandmother, Becky, file some paperwork. Abigail and Liberty then headed to the Monon High Bridge Trail; Kelsi German, Liberty’s older sister, agreed to drive them to the trail. They left for the trail around 1:30pm.
Delph Historical Trials
Kelsi drops off Abigail and Liberty at the Freedom Bridge parking area around 1:40 pm. Phone records show that Liberty Called her father Derrick German and asked if he would drive them home later. Derrick had been photographing various items for Becky’s appraisal business. He told the girls he would let them know when he was done and, on his way, to pick them up, which would be approximately two hours.
Abigail and Liberty spend the next thirty minutes walking down the trail and taking pictures. Two photos were posted to Snapchat. First a photo of the bridge posted at 2:05 pm and a second one of Abigail walking on the bridge at 2:07pm.
Shortly after Liberty posted the photos on Snapchat, Liberty recorded a video with her cellphone. Investigators have not released the video or a transcript of the video, but police state at one point they talked about a man who was following them on the bridge. According to police, the teens started taking pictures and recording for fun but soon after started feeling uncomfortable and started recording the man on purpose.
At some point, the man made an advance on the girls. Investigators believe he used a weapon or the threat of one to force the girls to comply. Liberty recorded part of the encounter on her phone, but complete video has not been released. Investigators have released a portion of the video where the man seems to be close to the teens and can be heard saying “Guys, down the hill”.
What happens next is not entirely known to the public. What is known is the man forces the girls off the trails and kills them. The cause of death has not been released.
Derrick did not see the girls so he started walking towards the “Highbridge”. When nearing the fork in the road, Derrick bumps into a man who has only been identified as “a man wearing a flannel shirt”. Derrick asks the man if he has seen two young girls walking. Flannel Shit Man tells him he hasn’t but noted he saw a couple on the bridge. Flannel Shit Man had been walking from the Highbridge so Derrick decided he would walk in the other direction, down towards the creek. Derrick did not see the girls on this trail and called Becky at 3:30 to tell him Liberty was not answering the phone as he headed towards the Freedom Bridge but still did not see anything so, he headed back to his car.
Around 4:00 pm, Tara German, Liberty’s mother, headed to the trail to meet Derrick. Becky contacted her husband Mike, who decided to take off work to help look. Becky also called Kelsi, who told her job she would be late, and went to meet the rest of the family to help search.
Early in the investigation, there were claims that Derrick was seen talking to an unknown male in the parking lot. This claim is unfounded. According to Becky, Derrick was talking to Tara in the parking lot.
Cody, Liberty’s uncle, also shows up to help look. Cody and Becky decide to drive along the path that Abigail and Liberty may have taken if they walked home. They do not see them and head back to the parking lot.
At this point, the family started to think the girls may have fallen and injured themselves or Liberty broke her phone. Liberty’s family breaks into groups and starts searching.
Cody and Kelsi searched until they reach the southeast end of the trail. They called both of the girl’s names and called Liberty’s cellphone; they did not hear or see anything. The rest of the family did the same in other areas of the trail.
At 5:20pm police are called, and Abigail and Liberty are officially reported missing. Police ask the family to report to the police station to file the report. A search by investigators begins on the trail.
While Liberty’s family was searching for the teens, they were also trying to get in contact with Abigail’s mother, Anna, who was at work. When Anna speaks to Becky and learns of the situation, she also heads to the police station.
Police turn The Delphi Fire Station into a staging area for the many volunteers that turned up to look for the missing girls. Together, Delphi Police Department and the Carroll Police Department coordinated a search with the fire department.
Police request the families to bring all of Abigail’s and Liberty’s electronic devices so they can be searched.
Police called off the “official search” towards the evening as to protect volunteers and planned to resume it the following morning. Though the official search was “stopped” firefighters and volunteers continued to search throughout the night. The official search resumed in the morning and went into the afternoon.
The Remains of Abigail and Liberty are Found
A volunteer found a sneaker belonging to Liberty during the morning search on February 14, 2017. Shortly after, another volunteer saw something near two deer and realized it was two bodies “lying in the grass between a group of trees deep in the woods”. According to the IndyChannel a set of footprints lead the volunteers to search that area. The remains were found on private property, about 50 feet from Deer Creek.
At 2:00 pm on February 14, 2017, a joint press conference with the Indiana State Police, the Carroll County Sheriff, and the Delphi Police Department announced they had found two bodies on the edge of the water. At this time, an identification was not given.
On February 15, 2017, the autopsies were completed. Police announce the bodies found were Abigail and Liberty; the manner of death was found to be homicide. The cause of death has not been released.
Another press conference was held on February 22, 2017.
On the day Abigail and Liberty went missing, a suspicious vehicle was noticed in the area. It had been parked by the abandoned CPS/DCS Welfare building on the east side of County Road 300 North. The vehicle was there between noon and 5pm. Investigators have asked for help in identifying the driver of the car, although they have not released any more information about the driver or car.
In July 2017, police released a sketch of the suspect. The suspect was described to be between a white male between 5” 6’ and 5” 10’, weighing between 180 and 220lbs.
On April 22, 2019, police released a second sketch, which they believe is a more accurate description of the murder suspect. They also stated he could be between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. According to news outlets, the updated sketch was composed from the accounts of two different witnesses who were in the areas the day Abigail and Liberty were murdered. Police also revealed that the updated sketch was the first sketch that had been drawn. It was not initially released as a tactic.
Investigators also wanted to remind the public that the sketch is only a sketch, and the suspect very well may look like a mix of both sketches.
Police have investigated hundreds of tips but have not been able to make an arrest in the double murder.
In August 2020, police arrested Kegan Anthony Kline for possession of child pornography, obstruction of justice, and child exploitation. These charges are not related to Abigail and Liberty. The arrest of Kline is of note, as it was discovered he had chatted with Abigail and Liberty using a fake account in 2016 and 2017.
Klien set up a fake account on multiple social media platforms using the handle “Anthony_Shots”. The photos that Klien used were of a male model who does not have an association or connection to the case at all. Klien was discovered as the owner of this account in 2017 after a search warrant was granted. It was also discovered that Klien may have used the handle EmilyAnn45.
Klien admitted to investigators that he had received about 100 sexually explicit photographs from about 15 different underage females. He lied about his age, appearance, and wealth to obtain the females addresses and met with them.
Investigators have not confirmed nor denied if they are considering Klien as a suspect for the murders of Abigail and Liberty, but they would like anyone who has any contact with the Anthony_Shots account to contact police.