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'Hiding in plain sight': Suspect in Delphi girls' double murder may be a local

ABC News logo ABC News 4/22/2019
a woman smiling for the camera: Photos of Abby Williams, left, and Libby German, right, at police headquarters in Delphi, Indiana. © Lindsey Jacobson/ABC News Photos of Abby Williams, left, and Libby German, right, at police headquarters in Delphi, Indiana.

The unknown suspect in the mysterious murder of two Delphi eighth-graders may live in the small Indiana town, police said Monday, as new information about the killer was released.

The male suspect is believed to currently or previously live in Delphi, work in town or visit on a regular basis, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter said at a news conference.

He's believed to be between 18 and 40 years old, Carter said, but may appear younger than his age.

Carter said the person seen in this image could be the girls' killer.

a person wearing a hat: Indiana State Police released a new sketch of the suspect in the unsolved murders of two teen girls. © Indiana State Police Indiana State Police released a new sketch of the suspect in the unsolved murders of two teen girls. (MORE: Delphi girls' double murder unsolved 2 years later, families desperate to 'complete the puzzle')

'We believe you are hiding in plain sight," Carter said at the news conference, and even "may be in this room."

"We likely have interviewed you or someone close to you," he said.

Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14, who were fast friends once they joined the same volleyball team, were enjoying a day off from school on Feb. 13, 2017, when they vanished on a hiking trail.

a group of people sitting at a table: Photos of Abby Williams, left, and Libby German, right, at police headquarters in Delphi, Indiana. © Lindsey Jacobson/ABC News Photos of Abby Williams, left, and Libby German, right, at police headquarters in Delphi, Indiana. Abby and Libby snapped this photo on the bridge on the day they disappeared. © ABC News Abby and Libby snapped this photo on the bridge on the day they disappeared. (MORE: As 1st Christmas goes by since unsolved killings of Indiana teens, mom is confident 'we'll have our answers')

Their bodies were found the next day near the trail. Police have not released details of how the girls died.

Delphi is a tight-knit community of nearly 3,000 people, dubbed by the local sheriff as "small-town USA." Main Street runs through the center, with the jail, city courthouse and a library all located within walking distance of each other.

Two years after the double murder shocked the community, Indiana State Police on Monday released that new sketch of the suspect, as well as new audio and video evidence.

The never-before-seen video recovered from Libby's phone shows the suspect walking on the bridge near where the girls were last seen.

a little girl sitting in a yard: Flowers sit by a bridge near Delphi, Ind. where Liberty German and Abigail Williams were seen before they were reported missing by their families on Feb. 13, 2017. © Alex Perez/ABC News Flowers sit by a bridge near Delphi, Ind. where Liberty German and Abigail Williams were seen before they were reported missing by their families on Feb. 13, 2017. (MORE: Teens' unsolved killings are 'open wound' for grandfather on anniversary of mysterious deaths)

"When you see the video, watch the person's mannerisms as they walk," Carter said Monday. "Do you recognize the mannerisms as being someone you might know?"

Authorities in 2017 released a grainy image of someone seen on the trail the day the girls went missing along with a chilling recording found on Libby's phone with just three words heard: "Down the hill."

(MORE: Mom hopes composite sketch will help crack unsolved killings of Indiana teens)

On Monday, police released additional portions of the audio recording from Libby's phone.

While it is hard to decipher what was said in the clip, "the person talking ... is the person on the bridge with the girls... please listen to it very, very carefully," Carter noted.

To former Delphi resident Clint Rayne, it's terrifying to think the suspect lives or works in the community.

"It makes you wonder if your kids have came in contact with this person," he told ABC News after the news conference. "Does he work at the school? Does he work at McDonald's?"

(MORE: Mystery surrounds Indiana murder of 2 teen girls: 'We cannot fail on this case') a sign on the side of a building: A sign in Delphi, Indiana, for Abby Williams and Libby German, who disappeared Feb. 14, 2017 and were found dead near a hiking trail. © Lindsey Jacobson/ABC News A sign in Delphi, Indiana, for Abby Williams and Libby German, who disappeared Feb. 14, 2017 and were found dead near a hiking trail.

Carter, addressing the killer, said at the news conference, "What will those closest to you think of when they find out that you brutally murdered two little girls, two children? Only a coward would do such a thing."

Carter vowed to not stop searching until an arrest is made.

Anyone with information is asked to contact abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.

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