DELPHI, Ind.—Two bodies found along a northern Indiana stream are those of two 13-year-old girls who went missing Monday and their deaths are being investigated as homicides, authorities said on Wednesday.
State Police Sgt. Kim Riley said autopsies performed Wednesday determined that the bodies are those of Carroll County teens Liberty German and Abigail Williams.
Their bodies were found Tuesday afternoon along Deer Creek near Delphi, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Police said the girls’ bodies were about three-quarters of a mile from an abandoned railroad bridge where they were dropped off Monday to go hiking.
Riley said an FBI team remains at the crime scene collecting evidence.
Riley said authorities are not yet releasing the girls’ cause or manner of deaths, citing the ongoing investigation.
“The investigation is still in its baby steps, so to speak, and we don’t want to put that information out yet,” he said during a news conference in Delphi.
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Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said authorities do not yet have a suspect or suspects in the girls’ slayings. He said the teens’ deaths are very upsetting for residents in the city of about 3,000 residents that is the county seat.
Delphi is known for its historic courthouse square and a restored section of the historic Wabash & Erie Canal that offers trips on a replica 19th century canal boat.
Leazenby and Riley urged the public, particularly people who were hiking Monday in the area where the girls went missing, to contact police with any tips they might have to help authorities in the investigation.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of this. We feel confident. And we’re going to do everything within our resources to reach justice in this situation,” Leazenby said.
Riley said the girls’ bodies were found in a wooded area about 50 feet from the banks of Deer Creek in an area less than a mile upstream from the railroad bridge that’s known locally as the Monon High Bridge.
He thanked volunteers who helped search the base of the bridge and surrounding trails for the girls, whose bodies were found by one of those volunteers.
The girls were reported missing Monday evening after they failed to appear at a predetermined meeting place. Riley said the girls went hiking Monday because the school they attended did not have classes that day.