Police investigating the slayings of two girls in Indiana released evidence currently in hopes it will lead to the killer's capture.
The proof was a video clip retrieved from the cellphone of a single of the victims. When police played some audio from the clip at a news conference in the town of Delphi this morning, reporters heard just 3 words from a deep voice: "Down the hill."
The audio top quality is not great, but police mentioned it's sufficient for someone to recognize the person's voice. Investigators think the clip was recorded as criminal behavior was about to occur.
"Libby had the presence of thoughts to turn on her video camera," Indiana State Police spokesman Capt. David Bursten told reporters, referring to a single of the girls, Liberty "Libby" German. "There's no doubt in our minds that that young lady is a hero."
The rest of the video will not be released at this time simply because of the ongoing investigation. Investigators recovered other evidence from the girl's telephone that is also not being released, Bursten said.
The girls — German, 14, and Abigail "Abby" Williams, 13, both of Carroll County — were reported missing by their households Feb. 13 immediately after the two did not return from a hike.
Immediately after organized searches, the bodies of the two girls were found Feb. 14 outdoors Delphi in the woods near Deer Creek, about three-quarters of a mile from an abandoned railroad bridge exactly where they had been dropped off the day ahead of to go hiking. An autopsy revealed their identities.
"Evidence in this case has led investigators to believe that this is a double homicide, and that is what we're investigating at this time," Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Tony Slocum told reporters this morning.
Indiana State Police on Monday said a man in a photograph is the major suspect in the double homicide investigation, but practically nothing is identified about him at this time outside of a single image. The man — dressed in blue jeans, a blue jacket and a hoodie — was photographed on a nature trial about the very same time the two girls disappeared.
Previously he was labeled a individual of interest, and police had stated he may possibly be only a witness to the crime.
But this morning Slocum stated at the news conference, "We are actively hunting for this person. We think this person is our suspect."
Police mentioned that there is the possibility of additional than 1 suspect and that it really is unclear no matter if the voice in the audio clip belongs to the man in the photograph.
The FBI has been assisting nearby authorities in the double homicide probe given that final week. Agents have briefed FBI director James Comey on the case on two occasions.
"We're not going anyplace," Gregory Massa, the FBI assistant special agent in charge in Indianapolis, mentioned at the news conference this morning. "We will be here till this case is solved, and I am confident this case will be solved."
About 20 FBI agents are on web page each day providing help to regional authorities, Massa said.
Investigators spent a great deal of this morning's news conference delivering an impassioned appeal to the public to submit recommendations to track down the man in the photograph and the particular person whose voice is in the audio clip.
"Somebody knows who this person is," Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter stated. "And if you're watching, we'll find you."
Though holding back tears, Carter described how he and his colleagues have been struggling to make sense of this tragedy.
"This is a classic instance and clear example that evil lives amongst us," he told reporters at the Delphi Methodist Church this morning. "Every single time something like this happens, a tiny piece of us dies as effectively."
Citizens can offer data about this case by calling the Delphi murder tip line at 844-459-5786. Information and facts can be reported anonymously. Strategies can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authorities and neighborhood leaders are offering a $41,000 reward for any facts leading to an arrest.
"We should preserve our resolve for Libby and Abby, for this neighborhood and, frankly, to assure that very good trumps evil," Carter mentioned. "And it will."
ABC News' Andrew Fies, Michael Edison Hayden, Alex Perez and Avianne Tan contributed to this report.
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