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tv   Nightline  ABC  February 12, 2022 12:37am-1:07am PST

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tonight, a shocking murder mystery. two girls go hiking on an indiana trail and never return home. >> who would be so barbaric? who would kill two teenage girls? >> their unsolved murders rocking the close-knit rural community of delphi. >> there's still a killer out there potentially walking amongst us. >> the ominous voice of the suspect. >> guys, down the hill. >> captured on the phone of one of the victims. five years later and the details of their deaths remain a secret as their families demand justice. >> why us, why them? why that day? why no answers after five years? >> police remain confident that they will catch the killer. >> we know a lot about you.
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today could be the day. sleep well. >> could a social media account help crack the case? this special edition of "nightline," "the delphi murders," will be right back.
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our town lost their innocence. you hear of stuff, terrible things happening in the big cities. but you never hear of it here. >> it's a city of 3,000 on edge. two bodies found. no one in custody. >> the bodies have been positively identified as abigail j. williams, 13, of the delphi area. and liberty rose lynn german, 14, of the delphi area. this is considered a double homicide investigation. >> who would be so barbaric? who would kill two teenage girls? >> this isn't something that happens in delphi. i couldn't go outside of the house without having a panic attack. >> there's still a killer out there potentially walking amongst us. >> often in missing cases you don't have a picture, you don't have audio, you don't have video. because of the courage of one girl on a bridge, you have all
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of that. >> guys, down the hill. >> we have the suspected killer on video. we see his face, we hear his voice. he says "down the hill." it's all right there. >> you have all of that, and still we wait. we wait. and we wait. >> the police are constantly asked, why hasn't this case been solved? why haven't they figured this out? >> this guy could strike again. it could be your kids. it happened to our family. i don't want it to happen to anybody else. >> that person were standing here right now what would you say to that person? >> why? son of a bitch. why? that's what i'd say. >> i think in 2017, delphi was
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the safest place any of us felt like we could be. we would leave our doors unlocked. we didn't have security systems. >> this is small town, usa. this is where you go visit grandma and grandpa. small businesses, restaurants. a great community to raise a family. >> everybody says hi, wave. always willing to stop and help somebody out. that's just the way it is. >> in this small, friendly, welcoming community, we have two teenage girls, abby williams and libby german. >> they were good friends. they had the same interest in music and arts. had played volleyball together. she loved helping other people. being around, assisting her nieces, playing games, drawing and art, being creative. ♪ and music was very important to her also. she was working on the piano. and she learned how to play the
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saxophone. she and her aunt used to have their little jam sessions in the house. it was terrible, but they certainly enjoyed it. >> this is a quilt that we had made that tells a little bit of libby's life. libby wanted to try everything. she wasn't afraid of anything. except the dark. she was very giving. very stick up for the underdog. >> inseparable, we were always together. we pretty much did everything together. >> so much promise. they were athletes, they were artists, there were things they were going to do. >> everybody was normal up to february 13th, 2017. >> it was a beautiful day that the girls said, you know what let's hang out together, bffs. they went out for a walk. the old monon high bridge, the miles of trails that go through the park.
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this is their history, part of who they are. >> there were tons of kids out there that day because it was unseasonably nice. and it was, hey, we're out of school, can we go? >> i was getting ready for work. and libby bust open the bathroom door as i'm sitting there, getting ready. and she says, hey, can we go to high bridge today? the moment i dropped them off, libby got out of the car and turned around and told me she loved me. and just knowing those were the last words is one of the most helpful things to me. >> it was supposed to be just a normal walk on the trail, and they went to go pick them up a couple of hours later, they never showed up. >> becky tried to call. wasn't getting any response. so she called me probably about 4:00 or so in the afternoon. and she said, hey, we're not getting any -- can't get ahold of libby. all right, let me head that way.
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walking up and down trails, trying to look, hollering, yelling. of course, we were getting no responses. she said, it's starting to get dark, i think we ought to call the police. so i did. >> my first thought was that i was going to kick my sister's butt when i found her. because this wasn't something that she'd ever done. >> they were grounded, as soon as we found them and they got home. we didn't think the worst. we didn't nowhere think the worst. >> in the whole evening as it progressed, the sense of urgency kept going. probably 9:00 that night, delphi, you can see flashlights all over delphi. every alley, every road. somebody was walking somewhere, looking. and it just continued all night. >> police, neighbors in vehicles, everywhere. helicopter. everyone was out looking for these young girls. you still had hope, you know?
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but then friday the 14th, after the noon hour, we got the word. the bodies were found. that was not the news that anyone was expecting. >> i had a friend that ran up to me and said her husband called her and they found the girls. but she wouldn't say anything more. so we got to the trailhead. and i ran up to a fireman and said, you need to take me to libby, she's been out all night, she's going to need me. i saw the coroner's van go by. and that's -- that's when it hit. she's -- she's not hurt and waiting for us. that's when i realized. >> any loss of life is horrific. i think the part that really struck a nerve is when we're told that this is part of a criminal investigation. a crime has been committed. >> this is considered double
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homicide investigation. no further information will be released at this time. >> that changes the tone. that's an act of evil. >> now we know. we know that we have a murder mystery on our hands. and the entire country is watching. >> the police have gotten thousands of tips in this case. and then, all of a sudden, we have an image of a potential suspect. >> here he is. here he is, delphi. here he is, community. here he is, america. that's the guy. can you find the guy? >> and before long, you actually hear his voice. >> guys, down the hill. >> so there was a hope. and anticipation. that someone's going to call and say, we have the guy. the call never came. >> i figure, okay, tomorrow. next day. we're going to get this guy. here we are, five years later. >> and then in december,
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authorities investigating the delphi murders put out a call for new information. they're looking into a social media account with the handle @anthony underscore shots. they say it's filled with stolen pictures of a male model. >> and i'm thinking, what is going on? anthony underscore shots. what is this about? >> that's generated a tremendous number of leads for us, and that's as far as i can go. >> when this special edition of "nightline" returns, five years after the murders in delphi, will the killer ever be found? >> how close are we? >> today could be the day. it's once-monthly injectable cabenuva. cabenuva is the only once-a-month, complete hiv treatment for adults who are undetectable. cabenuva helps keep me undetectable. it's two injections, given by a healthcare provider once a month. hiv pills aren't on my mind. i love being able to pick up and go.
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♪ this picture was given to us by one of her friends. that was probably one of the last pictures taken of libby before she was killed. >> time does heal a lot of wounds, but this wound upon us -- you know, it's -- the band-aid just keeps getting ripped off. it's never healing here. >> this case started as a missing persons case. of two juveniles. and then, sadly, after their bodies were found, it became a homicide. now this case is a search for pthe person or persons that killed these two young children. >> it happened really fast early on. and now the tips are three times that. i haven't checked recently what the tips are but they're well north of 70,000. >> at times police are playing
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this very close to the vest. they don't tell us the manner of death. there's a lot of evidence that they're not making public. >> it's a normal question for the police to be asked five years into an investigation. why doesn't the public know more about exactly what happened? how did these two kids die? by not releasing information, you're keeping information that only the killer would actually know. when you throw out potentially explosive pieces of evidence or information in a case, it will cause a suspect to change his or her routine. he might destroy evidence. >> but the police do share some things. including a picture of a suspect that was taken on libby german's phone. >> this young lady's a hero, there's no doubt. to have enough presence of mind to activate the video system on her cell phone, to record what we believe is criminal behavior that is about to occur. >> that's libby.
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that's something she would do. >> i think that she realized that something wasn't right. you know, with this -- with this guy out on the trails. >> when people saw the image, then it was, is it you? you have a beard. are you the guy? are you the guy? >> he looks exactly like every single person in indiana. he's wearing the clothes that everybody here wears, everywhere around us wears. >> an added piece of evidence in this case is the actual voice, the police believe, of the killer. >> what the individual is heard saying is "down the hill." >> what do you think when you hear that? >> chills. i just got them when you asked me the question. chills. >> why? >> i can't even begin to
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calculate the fear that they felt. and i feel like they were my own two daughters, even though i never met them. >> it's important that we spread that person's voice far and wide for somebody that will recognize who that is and will call us and tell us. >> surely you've heard him sing in the choir. maybe you've seen him at the local grocery store. maybe you've heard him at the school. he may have changed his appearance because police are looking for him, but you can't change a voice. >> we are ready for it to be over. >> it's exhausting. and it just goes in circles. to where they're -- you're -- you don't even know where solid ground is on some points. >> but even with all of that, still no arrests, no developments in the case. it wasn't until after two years passed that authorities finally release new evidence, a new sketch of the suspect, a new video of the suspect with audio,
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extended audio, from libby's phone. >> guys, down the hill. guys, down the hill. >> we also believe this person is from delphi. currently or has previously lived here. we believe this person is currently between the age range of 18 and 40. but might appear younger than his true age. directly to the killer. who may be in this room. we believe you are hiding in plain sight. >> if that person were standing here right now and you looked them in the eyes, what do you say to that person? >> why? you son of a bitch. why? that's what i'd say.
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>> when you have audio and video of a suspect, and five years later it doesn't appear to have a viable suspect, i find that unusual. >> then just a few months ago, in connection with this case, authorities turned to the public asking for information about a social media account with the handle @anthony underscore shots. >> and i'm thinking, what is going on? anthony underscore shots. what is this about? >> police allege this social media account, the profile picture, it's a stolen photo of a male model who has nothing to do with this case. but police say the person behind the account used it to get in contact with young girls and obtain illicit pictures. >> we're interested in this account @anthony underscore shots. what can you tell me about that? >> that's generated a tremendous number of leads for us, and that's as far as i can go. >> abc tried to reach the
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attorneys with the man accounted with that account but they didn't get back to us. he's in jail awaiting trial on 30 charges, including child pornography and exploitation. he's pleaded not guilty in that case. >> i've come to the conclusion that i have to trust that someone knows what's going on. i'm going to trust that police are also doing their part. because they want this to be resolved. >> it's always, why us? why them? why that day? why no answers after five years? and when? when will we not have those questions? >> the anniversaries are hard. we didn't think we'd be here at five years.
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and unfortunately, it really doesn't matter why or how or any of that anymore. they're gone and nothing's ever going to change that. >> if we're ever going to get this guy, i need the public, people's help. when the police ask for something, we all get frustrated. i do too. we do. obviously i don't know everything they have, and they're not going to roll those cards out on the table at this point in time. >> i want mike to hold me accountable. we've had those conversations. because there's things he wants to know that we haven't told him. can you imagine? i can't. he's look at a man that knows the answer to a question he's asking about the death of a grandchild. and i won't tell him. i'd be mad at me. my resolve to catch him is as strong now as it was day one. but the difference now between now and day one is we know about you.
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