CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The Monon High Bridge in Delphi has been a local hiking attraction for decades. But now, many know it as the place where the last pictures of homicide victims Liberty German and Abigail Williams were taken. Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of when the girls went missing.
News 18 uncovers what safety improvements are being made to the bridge and trails a year later.
"We all feel a bit responsible for what happened to the girls," said Delphi Mayor Shane Evans. "We ask ourselves if there's more that we could do to keep them safe."
But how was the community to know that the beautiful Delphi trails and the Historic Monon High Bridge would one day lead to such a heinous crime?
"Like everything else, you never know where it's going to happen next," said Shannon Toole, a Delphi resident.
Last year on Feb. 13, Abby Williams and Libby German were last seen on the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. The girls spent a few hours taking pictures on the bridge. But no one could have predicted it would be the last time the two would be seen alive.
News 18 took a walk with one of Libby's childhood friends, Keri Toole. It was the first time she's been on the trails since the tragedy.
"It was hard on everybody," said Keri. "I still have so many questions, circling through my mind."
Keri's father, Shannon Toole, said because of what happened he wouldn't let his daughter walk the trails alone.
"I think I'm like everybody, scared and leary," said Toole.
Abby and Libby's bodies were found less than a mile from the bridge. In light of the tragedy, the city put together a Trail Safety Task Force to make safety improvements.
"It was really a shocker to all of our community because we've more or less felt like we're a rural area and these places we love are all free for us to use anytime and didn't really have a reality check until last February," said Wabash and Erie Canal Association President Dan McCain.
The task force is now in the middle of adding lighting, cameras, informational kiosks, and Wi-Fi. Mayor Evans said there will be cameras at each entry point. But, there won't be any along the trails.
"We can't put a security camera at every hundred feet," said Evans. "So what we have tried to do and the recommendation from the trail task force was, to put those security cameras at the entrance to the trails. So that we know who is coming in and going out."
"To set up a system that would retrieve and record information from the cameras requires a much different array of technology, much more cost," said McCain. "And it isn't something that we felt like even for trail walkers to think that they're being spied on all of the time."
The task force will also be adding trail markers at every tenth mile. That way if someone has to call 911 for help they can tell police exactly where they are."
"I think the added security measures will help people feel safer," said Evans. "And it will help give us further comfort and that we're trying to do everything we can to help keep these trails safe."
Many hope one day more than just the bridge can be restored. They hope this place can eventually go back to being a safe and peaceful spot.
"I think this will be a place for reflection. A place where you can think about the girls and not associate them with the crime that occurred" said Evans.
McCain said most of the cameras will be installed by spring.
- Justice for Abby and Libby special report: Revisiting the bridge
- WATCH: Justice for Abby and Libby
- 6 months go by without justice for Abby and Libby
- Justice for Abby and Libby: Sitting down with Sheriff Tobe Leazenby
- 2nd annual Abby and Libby Celebration of Life online auction
- Fundraising and celebrating the lives of Abby and Libby
- Family of Abby and Libby remain hopeful in light of new developments
- Libby German's sister studying at Purdue so tragedy doesn't happen to another family
- $260K renovation underway to turn Delphi's Monon High Bridge into pedestrian trail
- Volunteers told to report to Delphi fire station in search for missing girls