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Delphi task force to explore safety upgrades for historic trail system after teens’ deaths

DELPHI, Ind. – Following the deaths of two teenagers along a trail in Delphi last month, a community group will form a task force to address trail safety.

Officials from Delphi Historic Trails said the Trail Safety Task Force will include members from law enforcement, trail organizations, schools and the public. The group will explore suggestions for improving trail safety along more than ten miles of trails in Delphi.

The formation of the task force follows the February disappearance and deaths of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams. Both were hiking near the Monon High Bridge when they were killed. While police have received thousands of tips, the murders remain unsolved.

The Trail Safety Task Force will consider several suggestions when it meets, including educating the public on safety, using cameras, mapping and coordinating locations for 911 identification, placing appropriate signs, creating safety stations and conducting police patrols.

Officials expect to consider dozens of ideas for trail safety, which has become a priority since the teens’ deaths.

Generations of Delphi youth have explored the area near the Monon High Bridge over the years, though the deteriorating bridge itself is not officially part of the trail system. Plans are in the works to renovate it.

The Wabash & Erie Canal Association is collecting donations for safety upgrades, and several fundraising activities are in development, including a 5K benefit run set for June. In addition, Security Federal Savings and Loan of Delphi and First Federal Savings and Loan of Greensburg are collecting donations specifically for trail cameras.