Sheriff speaks out about side-by-side comparisons of Delphi murder suspect sketch

Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said the message has been the same from the beginning: send your tips to the email or phone number.

Posted: May 1, 2019 6:25 PM
Updated: May 1, 2019 6:50 PM

CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The Carroll County Sheriff's Office is asking people to stop posting side-by-side comparisons of people who look like the Delphi murder sketch on social media. Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said this has been a problem since the beginning of the investigation more than two years ago.

While social media has played a positive role in the Delphi murder investigation, it has also been a hindrance. The department also took to social media, posting on its Facebook page on Tuesday morning asking people to stop posting these comparisons.

"Put yourself in that person's position," he said. "How would you feel if you were the one being advertised and not necessarily in a good way?"

People have taken investigating the murder of Abigail Williams and Liberty German into their own hands. He said he has talked to some who have been falsely compared to the sketch, and those people want to be left out of it. 

"I know people want to get this resolved and obviously we do too," said Sheriff Leazenby. "The family does, the whole community does."

But he said people are going about it the wrong way, and it's frustrating. The sheriff said it's causing distractions for the investigators.

"They have to take that time that maybe they could be working over here on something, but now they are having to potentially refocus on what's being displayed," he said.

Sheriff Leazenby said it takes more than just looking like the man in the new sketch to mean that the person actually did the crime. He said the prosecutor needs facts that he can take into the courtroom to prove that the man in the sketch killed the two young girls.

Posting these side-by-side comparisons could also lead to greater problems for those who are creating and sharing them.

"One thing they need to consider is that it could end up in a slander situation where there could be some legal issues involved as well," said Sheriff Leazenby.

The message from investigators has been the same since day one: "Put it through the email system or call it in and provide our investigators with that information and I assure you it will be followed into," he said.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office said anyone who continues to post these comparisons on its Facebook page will have the post removed and they will be blocked from the page.

Anyone who does have facts about the double homicide should send them to abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com, or you can call 844-459-5786.

The post from the Carroll County Facebook page asking people to stop posting side-by-side comparisons.

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