DELPHI, Ind. – Investigators released an audio clip of the voice of a suspect in the homicides of two Delphi teenagers.
Capt. Dave Bursten with Indiana State Police played the clip during a Wednesday news conference. He said it came from the cell phone of Liberty German, who had the presence of mind to make the recording. Police said the voice is saying, "Down the hill."
Bursten played the clip multiple times during the news conference. State police later posted a version of the audio clip that was easier to understand.
Liberty, 14, and her friend, Abigail Williams, 13, were found murdered last week. Wednesday's news conference at Delphi United Methodist Church included officials from several different agencies, including the FBI. Authorities are offering a $41,000 reward in the case. The money comes from several sources: the FBI, a local business and a local family.
During the news conference. Sgt. Tony Slocum said the search continued for a man seen in a photo. Investigators revealed that the photo also came from Liberty German's phone. They said it's possible the voice in the recording is that of the man in the photo. They also acknowledged that it's possible more than one person may be involved.
Police said they were withholding some information in the case for investigative purposes.
"We are actively looking for this person. This person is our suspect," Slocum said of the man in the picture.
ISP Superintendent Doug Carter became emotional when he spoke during the news conference.
"Why Libby? Why Abby? Why Delphi? Why Carroll County?" Carter asked struggling to control his emotion. Carter revealed that he'd talked to Gov. Eric Holcomb about the case.
"We're not stopping...someone knows who this individual is," Carter said.
He and other investigators again appealed to the public to continue to send in tips. He believes someone knows the man in the photograph.
"Libby and Abby need you. Please don't rationalize tips away," he said.
Carter maintained that tips are anonymous and urged people to call the tip line at 844-459-5786. Tips can also be emailed to email@example.com.
Investigators said any information could be useful. If someone has been exhibiting strange behavior in the last week or changed their habits, he said that's noteworthy. Maybe someone suddenly canceled an appointment or has been following the Delphi case much too closely.
He also had a message for the killer.
"If you're watching, we'll find you," Carter said.
Greg Massa with the FBI said as many as 20 agents were working on the case on any given day.
"Nine days ago, the FBI stood shoulder-to-shoulder with you. We're not going anywhere," Massa said.
Investigators believe the girls met the suspect in a chance encounter on the trail or the person knew they were going to be there. Liberty German's decision to make a recording provided police with their best clues in the case.
"This young lady is a hero, no doubt," Slocum said.
Slocum provided the latest updates during an interview with FOX59's Ray Cortopassi and Aishah Hasnie Wednesday afternoon:
If you'd like to help raise the fund, mail your donation to:
Indiana State Police Alliance
1415 Shelby Street
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Officials ask that people make checks payable to the Indiana State Police Alliance Foundation. On the memo line, write "Delphi reward."