Original Publish date: Feb 18, 2017
DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) — The grandfather of one of two teens found dead in Delphi is reaching out for the first time since the tragedy.
News 18's photojournalist Ryan Delaney listened to Mike Patty as he reflected on the life of his granddaughter Liberty German. He said his mind's been a blur these last few days so he took some time to write things down that he wanted to share.
"I raised Liberty since she was 3 years old, we've had her in our home. My wife and I's relationship with her has been deeply sewn with love since we were allowed to play two roles in her life. Both parents and grandparents. She's the love of our life. We are a very tight knit family with a lot of love pouring through our lives. There was not a day went by that this wasn't shared between us. Our minds, at this point, are stirred in the deepest sorrow one can imagine. It's my sincerest hope that no one experiences what my family is experiencing at this time," Patty shared.
He said the out pouring of support from unlike anything they've ever witnessed.
"...from our family and friends, neighbors and local community, across the state, the nation and even across other continents is unlike anything we've ever observed," he said. "With all of the kind words shared with my family, we've yet to find the one statement that will take this pain away."
He said Liberty was "so active and full of life" and she was involved in every sport she could play. She enjoyed soccer, softball, volleyball and swimming.
"... She was extremely smart, taking all high-ability classes. She had a love for music and played the saxophone in the band and would often pick at a guitar in her room," said Patty. "What we would give to hear some of those off-key notes today."
Patty shared that he and his granddaughter discussed what she wanted to do when she grew up, and it always circled back to science.
"Always asking me to make her something out of wood, plastic or whatever," he shared. "So she could run off to her room to make into something special."
Patty continued, "The hundreds and thousands of texts, emails, phone calls and thoughts are welcomed and do help us to travel down this path of grief. While we work to thank everyone for their support, personally I apologize if we do not reach out to you. This is so overwhelming we cannot keep up. Therefore we offer this statement of our families token of sincere appreciation for all the sympathy expressed upon us."
"We're thankful for the rapid response and professionalism displayed by local area fire departments, EMS, other emergency response personnel who answered the call. We're thankful that friends, neighbors, co-workers perfect strangers called off work and searched all night with our family merely because they felt compelled to help. We're grateful for you all. Thank you, again, for your thoughts and prayers. May Liberty and Abby rest in Peace."
German's family is taking donations to ensure the sports and programs Liberty loved can continue to be enjoyed in her community.
Watch News 18's exclusive interview with Libby German's grandfather Mike Patty in the video above.