Original Publish date: March 9, 2017
DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) — The grandfather of one of two teens killed in Delphi three weeks ago made an emotional plea to the public Thursday.
Mike Patty spoke to the media about the death of his granddaughter, 14-year-old Libby German, and her best friend, 13-year-old Abby Williams, at a news conference held at the Carroll County Courthouse Thursday morning. Investigators were also on hand to answer questions. They started the event with a prayer.
Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby started by sending out his gratitude and thanks to everyone involved and for the community support, then he turned over the mic to Patty.
Patty started off by reading a statement from the family of Abby Williams, who chose not to speak to the media Thursday.
"Abby and Libby loved each other. Throughout this tragedy, we have honored their memory by caring for and respecting each other. We respect Libby's family's decision to speak publicly at this time, just as they respect our family's decision not to speak publicly."
Patty also added that the media trust the choice of the Williams' family and wait for them to reach out to you if they so desire.
"This horrible crime has torn a hole in our families that will never heal," Patty said. "It's the small things that seem to hurt the most."
He talked about how the girls were getting ready for the upcoming softball season, and added there are too many ways the girls have impacted their lives to share them all.
Patty thanked Pat McAfee and Jim Irsay among other businesses for helping boost the reward fund to close to $220,000. He also announced additional donations will be used for a scholarship fund and, hopefully, a softball field and park in the name of Abby and Libby.
Patty turned his attention to asking people to help in the investigation. Someone knows this man and investigators need your help, he said. Look for changes in appearance or behavior in people and report information to the tip line.
"Obviously, we would like to see someone responsible for this," Patty said to questions from the media. "But I'm relying on law enforcement, ya know, and the efforts they are putting forward. ... Trust me – every call, every tip is checked!"
Patty later said, "The pain will always be there forever, but this is a hurdle that needs to be knocked down. ... Somebody out there knows something, somebody has to know this person, recognize this voice and I encourage them to call in and give us that vital piece of information. No matter how small it may seem, it may fit into another piece of the puzzle that will help put closure to this."
Patty said German was a smart girl and they talked often about having the presence of mind to your surroundings. He also joked she was kind of a photo buff, and that's the reason the girls were out hiking the day they died was to take pictures.
"But obviously, she had presence of mind to sense something a little strange there," Patty said about German recording the suspect on her cellphone. "I'm glad she did, very glad."
Toward the end of the news conference, Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine took over and announced the Delphi reward has now increased to $224,000 through additional donations and more than 11,000 tips have come into the command center. Out of the 11,000 tips, Perrine said 2,000 have been positively cleared with no connection to the case.
Perrine said investigators are asking people to make sure your information comes from a reliable source, such as state police. He said if the information doesn't come from law enforcement, please hold off on spreading rumors because it could slow down the investigation.
"Spreading unconfirmed information or rumors could be detrimental to our case, just because it could lead people to believe, people who might have information about this case to believe, that we're closer to solving it or that we have information that we don't," Perrine said.
Police are still looking for information in this case. If you would like to report anything, you are asked to call the Tip Line at 844-459-5786 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perrine confirmed there has been no arrests related to the Delphi case, but he's very optimistic there will be a resolution in the case.
Perrine said the motto around headquarters is "Today is the day."