Four years later: Delphi murder families turning grief into positivity while keeping hope for justice

The families of Abigail Williams and Liberty German still have no answer as to who is responsible for this tragedy, but they continue to have hope and to channel their grief into something positive.

Posted: Feb 8, 2021 11:49 AM

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) - We are approaching the four year anniversary of murder of Abigail Williams and Liberty German in Delphi. One week from Sunday marks four years since the girls' bodies were found.

The families still have no answer as to who is responsible for this tragedy, but they continue to have hope and to channel their grief into something positive.

"It's frustrating," said Mike Patty, Libby's grandfather.

"Unfortunately, it is really sad that we've had to wait this long," said Kelsi German, Libby's older sister.

"If I say something to someone about it and their like, what year is coming up? I'm like four. And they're like already four?" said Anna Williams, Abby's mother. "It doesn't seem possible because it feels like yesterday."

On February 13th 2017, Abby and Libby went missing while walking on the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. Their bodies were found the next day. It's been two years since investigators released an updated sketch of the suspect, along with video and audio Libby bravely recorded on her phone.

"We'd much rather be going to a ball game and watching the girls and going to band concerts and stuff," said Eric Erskin, Abby's grandfather.

"Watching them go to the prom, just all the things that was robbed, that was taken away from them," added Patty.

This would have been the girls' senior year at Delphi Community High School. Their fellow 2021 classmates made sure they weren't forgotten by painting a parking spot in their honor.

"It's really cool to watch her friends all graduate and come out here and visit her. And all the awesome things they are doing and are going to do," said Kelsi. "But it's bitter sweet knowing she doesn't get to do that with them."

Kelsi regularly visits Libby at her resting spot, bringing along one of their favorite treats to share. 

"We would always go after school and get a small fry and a large sweet tea," she said. "It's where I feel closest to her, I can enjoy her presence and we can talk, or she can talk and I can listen."

Kelsi, who just recently celebrated her 21st birthday, is now in her third year at Purdue studying forensic psychology. She wants to work the families of homicide victims to help them deal with the loss. She said it's important to her to use her platform on social media to bring attention to other unsolved murder cases around the country, to help them in their fight for justice too.

Photo: Abby and Libby's parking spot memorial at Delphi Community High School.

News 18 asked Williams if she would also like to meet at Abby's grave, but she politely declined to preserve her privacy.

"It's like your own home or her room, that belongs to me," she said. "Somebody out there knows what happened and what they did to our children and I'll be damned if he gets to see her room or any of that personal space."

No investigators from the Indiana State Police are talking with media this year about the case. They released the following statement on February 1st:

"Law enforcement continues to utilize County, Local, State and Federal resources to accomplish our goal. There is still a dedicated, multi-jurisdictional team working on this case every day, which includes two Carroll County detectives, two Indiana State Police detectives and other law enforcement officers. We continue to actively investigate all tips and leads we receive by phone and email. This type of violent crime cannot and will not go unanswered."

"We don't have an arrest, we don't have a conviction," said Patty. "The investigators are continually working on this. They haven't stopped."

The families said they keep in touch with investigators every few months, if only just for reassurance that tips are still coming in and they are still working on leads. ISP did confirm that Superintendent Doug Carter met with the families this past week, as he has done every year since the girls were killed.

ISP's definition of a cold case is when five years have passed with no new tips or leads. With tips being received daily, ISP said this is far from being considered a cold case investigation.

They have added Abby and Libby's case to the Crime Door App. People can download the app and through virtual reality, they can walk the bridge as the girls would have seen it. Kelsi said she was the first to see the profile and wanted to experience it alone because of the emotional impact of it all. But she is hopeful it will continue to spread Abby and Libby's story, and will hopefully lead to someone sending in the tip that they need to solve the case.

"Even if they catch the guy tomorrow and even if we know and pray to god that this does not happen to another family, the girls still aren't going to be here, and that is bottom line," said Williams.

As the families continue to deal with yet another year of grief over their loss, they're turning that grief into something positive with the Abby and Libby Memorial Park. A playground, amphitheater, trees, pic-nic shelters and softball diamonds have all been installed over the summer and fall. Two wind chimes sing into the cold air by the amphitheater, always reminding those who come of the reason for the park.

"These girls, our family, our community, everybody around the state, we all deserve justice," said Patty. "Just like this park, it's taken a community to build it, we need the community and the state to get this case solved as well."

Much of the materials and labor used so far to get the park moving has been through community donations of time and resources, donations the families said they are extremely grateful for. The goal is to have the park open and ready for softball season this spring.

They are also hosting their annual food drive at the Delphi United Methodist Church on Friday and Saturday.

"The girls would have supported a food drive and a pet food drive, pandemic or not and now we've seen that the need is very great here in our local community," said Williams.

The families are asking the community to come forward with any information they may have.

"Law enforcement has always emphasized is that they may only be short one piece of evidence or one tip," said Erskin.

They are also asking the community to keep their hope, faith and patience strong.

"We're going to get answers," said Kelsi. "If he's out there we're going to find him."

"We just have to keep that faith and that hope and keep praying," said Williams.

If you have any information to share about the murder of Abby and Libby, please reach out to investigators. The email is abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com, or call you can call 844-459-5786. Below are the two sketches Indiana State Police have released since the start of the investigation. The one on the left is the most recent.

Terre Haute
Mostly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Robinson
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Indianapolis
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Rockville
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 65°
Casey
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 64°
Brazil
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 67°
Marshall
Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 67°
Scattered Showers and Thundershowers
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1367126

Reported Deaths: 24801
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54734510147
DuPage908351288
Will75828993
Lake67459991
Kane58579778
Winnebago33393477
Madison30589520
McHenry28705288
St. Clair27915514
Peoria23202317
Champaign20710145
Sangamon18831234
McLean18236181
Tazewell16999291
Rock Island15041318
Kankakee14232210
Kendall1310594
LaSalle12589244
Macon10784200
DeKalb9912119
Vermilion9702132
Adams8476123
Williamson7446130
Whiteside7166172
Boone672074
Ogle612081
Grundy590176
Clinton576590
Coles569196
Knox5573150
Jackson503364
Henry501167
Livingston483385
Stephenson477183
Woodford476277
Effingham472972
Macoupin471583
Marion4472115
Franklin446375
Monroe435793
Jefferson4304120
Lee417453
Randolph413484
Fulton395557
Morgan390282
Logan389159
Montgomery373474
Bureau372782
Christian368673
Perry317960
Fayette317855
Iroquois302966
McDonough286747
Jersey269350
Douglas259035
Saline256654
Lawrence240625
Shelby229937
Union226240
Crawford212326
Bond205524
Cass199525
Jo Daviess181924
Clark180633
Warren180246
Pike179352
Ford179147
Wayne178053
Hancock176231
Carroll175636
Richland175240
Edgar170840
White169826
Washington164425
Moultrie161128
De Witt151725
Mason151645
Piatt150014
Clay148143
Mercer147533
Johnson144615
Greene144033
Massac134640
Wabash134612
Cumberland129019
Menard123712
Jasper115118
Marshall107418
Hamilton83615
Schuyler7607
Brown7106
Pulaski6867
Stark63824
Edwards56912
Henderson52414
Calhoun5182
Putnam4833
Scott4791
Alexander46811
Gallatin4604
Hardin38612
Pope3224
Out of IL20
Unassigned02356

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 735999

Reported Deaths: 13486
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1007151752
Lake54249977
Allen40946680
St. Joseph36335553
Hamilton35829408
Elkhart28844443
Tippecanoe22475219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18946311
Johnson18067381
Hendricks17317315
Clark13036192
Madison12762339
Vigo12501249
LaPorte12086215
Monroe11957172
Delaware10755187
Howard10001218
Kosciusko9466117
Hancock8373142
Bartholomew8098156
Warrick7799155
Floyd7690178
Grant7098174
Wayne7072199
Boone6745101
Morgan6611140
Dubois6166117
Marshall6111112
Cass5876105
Dearborn583178
Henry5785105
Noble565984
Jackson503773
Shelby494396
Lawrence4602120
Gibson437192
Harrison436672
DeKalb430585
Clinton428453
Montgomery425889
Whitley398739
Huntington394480
Steuben391057
Miami383968
Knox372890
Jasper372649
Putnam363760
Wabash355380
Adams342755
Ripley340770
Jefferson331881
White317754
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette282162
Greene280585
Posey272034
LaGrange268970
Scott267554
Clay261347
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232931
Jennings230949
Starke219354
Fountain213946
Sullivan212242
Owen203356
Jay197830
Fulton196040
Carroll190420
Orange184754
Perry184637
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168535
Tipton163445
Parke146716
Pike135634
Blackford135132
Pulaski117445
Newton108934
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417