DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — Authorities said Monday they are expanding the search for a suspect in the killings of two girls who were found dead near a northern Indiana trail last week.
Indiana State Police are looking beyond the town of Delphi for a man photographed near the trail Feb. 13 around the time a relative dropped the girls off, Sgt. Kim Riley told WLFI-TV in Lafayette.
Police said Sunday that the unidentified man is the “main suspect” in the deaths of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams.
“We are actually expanding out,” Riley said Monday. “We want people who may have seen somebody walking, that may have picked up a hitchhiker, that may have seen a hitchhiker around that afternoon.”
Authorities have not detailed the evidence that led them to consider the man a suspect or how they obtained the grainy photograph. Police had previously said they considered him a person they wanted to speak with as part of the investigation.
The girls’ bodies were found Tuesday, one day after they went missing, about a quarter-mile from an abandoned railroad bridge that’s part of a trail system. The teens had planned to go hiking on the trails during a day off school in Delphi, a community of about 3,000 people some 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
Their deaths have been ruled a double-homicide, but authorities have not disclosed how the girls died. Private funeral services were held Sunday.
A task force made up of FBI agents, state police and local law enforcement is investigating.