Original Publish date: Feb 15, 2017
CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The case of the two missing Carroll County girls has turned into a double homicide investigation after authorities confirmed the identity of the bodies.
Authorities announced Wednesday 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German were killed. The report is weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of the people living in Carroll County.
Police tape can keep the community from the scene of the crime, but nothing can stop people in Delphi from feeling it.
"I've lived here for 50-plus years and things like this are happening every day in bigger cities, like Chicago and Indianapolis and what not," Delphi resident Richard Gardiner said. "And in a small community when it happens, everybody goes berserk."
Special units brought from all over the state came to assist the investigation, at a location once known as a safe local hangout.
"Kids go swimming there. They go fishing. They jump in it," Delphi resident Molly Johnson said. "They take senior pictures there. They go and hangout. It's a very friendly, safe place that anybody and everybody has been to."
Johnson has two kids at Delphi High School and said the death of the two girls has been really difficult on the children in this community. She asked her daughter what her day was like at school.
"She said that it was just really, really quiet in there and you could hear a pin drop," Johnson said. "I feel for every child that this is affecting.
Are you scared at all? News 18 asked Johnson.
She replied, "No not really. The police are out there looking, all of our resources are doing what they need to do. So no, I'm not really scared at all."
But she is taking precautions with her children.
"I just know where my kids are at all times, that everyone is safe," said Johnson. "That they travel with more than one person at a time, and they just check in quite often."
Gardiner's grandchildren are around the same age as the girls who were killed. He said he never stops preaching to them.
"I tell them to follow the rules and stay on the high road," Gardiner said. "And I also tell them not to be talking to strangers on the Internet."
In a small town where grocers still help you to your car and everybody knows everyone, it's hard not to be shaken by the murders. But Johnson said this won't break them.
"Yeah, we will as a community. Everybody will get through this," Johnson said. "It will be a while, but we will get through this."
Delphi Community Schools Superintendent Greg Briles said counseling is available to students and parents who need it.
"We're looking to the professionals for as much help as we can get at this point," he said.
Police are asking anyone with information to come forward, especially if they saw a vehicle or a person or persons in the area of the Delphi Historic Trails on Monday afternoon. Please contact the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at 765-564-2413, the Delphi Police Department at 765-564-2345, opt. 1, or the Indiana State Police at 765-567-2125.