Delphi faith community grows stronger 3 years after double homicide

"In the true sense of the word, evil was perpetuated on our community."

Posted: Feb 11, 2020 10:31 AM
Updated: Feb 11, 2020 10:38 AM

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) — Three years after Abigail Williams and Liberty German were killed walking the Delphi Historic Trails, the community is keeping the faith. Even though there are more questions than answers, some have hope in things unseen.

Not many Carroll County residents want to remember Feb. 13, 2017, but they simply can't forget it.

Delphi United Methodist Church

A new sketch, video and more audio of who police believe is the suspect in the Delphi double homicide was released on April 22, 2019. Provided by Indiana State Police

"In the true sense of the word, evil was perpetuated on our community," said longtime Carroll County resident Ed Selvidge. 

Selvidge searched for Abby and Libby. In fact, when they were found, he gave the official death notification. He's Carroll County's police chaplain.

"This community, no matter what denomination or what belief system they may profess, they've come together in one purpose; to support one another," said Selvidge. 

Following the girls' killings, the church became united. In the midst of tragedy, the Delphi faith community provided hope.

"You saw more people in church, you saw more people making outreach to the church, but practically what I saw more of was the connections and the conversations when you're out in the community," said Delphi United Methodist Church Senior Pastor Todd Ladd .

Now three years later, the conversations have shifted to confusion and anger. Why have police not found the killer yet? That's a question Ladd doesn't have the answer to, but he says scripture may.

"All throughout scripture, you notice people who had challenges," said Ladd. "Often times, those answers don't come in the next day, the next week, or even the next year. My prayer is that the person who did this will be going somewhere and making a confession. It would be something that would be totally unpredictable, and not scripted by anything else that we know of. In other words, only something that is supernatural."

"This is the hardest thing in the world to say. I hope we, as a community, will find a way to forgive this person," said Selvidge.

He knows that will take faith, but that's something Delphi has plenty of.

"We have a new normal here," explained Selvidge. "We're suspicious, we're not as trusting and we're certainly more compassionate with one another."

"Have we returned to the basic things that we do? Have we returned to regular ministry? Sure," said Ladd. "Will we ever be the same? Absolutely not. I believe that justice will come, whether it is this side of eternity or the other side of eternity. Regardless, I believe that will come. I'm particularly hoping, it is this side of eternity."

Delphi United Methodist Church is hosting a prayer vigil this Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. The family also asks that you bring food and pet items for a donation.

Indiana State Police say 50,000 tips have come in so far, and they are continuing to go through old and new tips daily. Anyone with information in the killings should call 844-459-5786 or email with any information.

For our complete coverage of the Delphi Homicides from the past three years, click here. 

Tuesday on News 18 This Morning, it's been a tough three years for Kelsi German. Libby's sister, like investigators, is looking for clues to find the man who killed the girls. We will show you her recent change that may help prevent future tragedies.

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