Indiana teens Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and Liberty “Libby” German, 14, liked to hike around Deer Creek like many of their Delphi Community Middle School classmates.
So, when the honor roll students asked their families to drop them off at a picturesque railroad bridge in the woods on Monday, their parents didn't bat an eye.
The abandoned railroad bridge, called Monon High Bridge, is an iconic photo-op in Deer Creek. Like many others, the girls paused to take some fun pictures for their social media accounts.
Sadly, those images would capture the final moments of their lives, according to People.
People reported that the bodies of the two girls were discovered Tuesday afternoon close to the creek's edge—on private property. The wooded area was just three quarters of a mile from the bridge were they snapped photos, according to WKRN.
Before the girls' bodies were discovered, Liberty's grandfather, Mike Patty, told WLFI-TV that the girls' cellphones rang and received messages that were never marked as read, before the phones either ran out of battery or got turned off.
Authorities have confirmed the nature of the deaths as a double homicide, but State Police Sgt. Kim Riley said that the cause of death will stay under wraps for now. She told WKRN:
“The investigation is still in its baby steps, so to speak, and we don’t want to put that information out yet."
The homicides have shaken the small town of Delphi, which is home to about 3,000 people. Local resident Richard Gardiner told WLFI-TV:
“I’ve lived around this town for 50-plus years and things like this are happening every day in bigger cities, like Chicago and Indianapolis and what not. And in a small community when it happens, everybody goes berserk.”
Delphi mother, Molly Johnson, told WLFI-TV that the bridge is a gathering spot for many members of their community:
“Kids go swimming there. They go fishing. They jump in it. They take senior pictures there. They go and hangout. It’s a very friendly, safe place that anybody and everybody has been to.”
“There is somebody out there that did do this crime and we’re going to track them down."
But police may have a lead.
Indiana State Police recently released two photos of a man described as Caucasian, wearing light blue jeans, a blue jacket, and a brown hat.
Police said he's wanted for questioning, and they said he was spotted on the Delphi Historic Trails “around the time Abigail Williams and Liberty German were walking.”
Authorities have asked that anybody able to help identifity this man to call Indiana State Police at 765-567-2125 or Delphi Police Department at 765-564-2345.