Two Indiana 13-year-old girls who went missing Monday were identified as the victims of a double homicide, authorities announced at a Wednesday press conference.
On Tuesday, authorities said they found two bodies near Deer Creek in Delphi while searching for the teens: Liberty German and Abigail Williams. But they had not confirmed that the manner of death was homicide or the identity of the bodies.C
“It is disturbing,” Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said. “There is somebody out there that did do this crime and we’re going to track them down.”
Liberty and Abigail’s bodies were found by authorities less than a mile from where they were last seen alive, authorities said. They were reported missing by family on Monday evening after they were dropped off to go hiking near an abandoned railroad bridge known as the “Monon High Bridge.”
During the hike, Liberty posted a photo to Snapchat of Abigail walking on the bridge alone. The friends were supposed to be picked up by family later that afternoon but they never showed up to the pickup location.
While police initially did not suspect foul play in the girls disappearance, on Tuesday they said it seemed foul play was involved in their deaths.
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“We are investigating this as a crime scene,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley said Tuesday, adding that the “way the bodies were found” led them to believe there was foul play.
The girls’ bodies were found nearly 60 feet from the water’s edge on private property, Riley said on Wednesday. He would not comment on whether they had any obvious injuries.
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Riley would not release any information on the cause of death, citing the ongoing investigation.
“Some of that information could be key in a prosecution so I feel like that information at this current time needs to be protected so that we make sure the case is properly handled when the time comes for criminal prosecution,” Leazenby said.
The girls’ families have asked for their privacy. The investigation is ongoing with the aide of the FBI.
“I want to ensure the community [that] we’re going to get to bottom of this,”Leazenby said. “We feel confident and we’re going do everything that we can with our resources to reach justice in this situation.”