DELPHI, Ind. – Be careful before you click. Police are warning online users to be responsible when posting the newly released sketch of the Delphi murder suspect online. Investigators want Facebook users to stop putting the sketch next to pictures of other men or mug shots.
“You’re putting people’s lives, families, and children in danger by putting pictures that may have nothing to do with this case,” said Sgt. Kim Riley with Indiana State Police.
The sketch was released on Monday morning and immediately social media took off, posting plenty of versions of it. Investigators say the online speculation could hurt the case.
“You’re just being 'Joe Detective' out there trying to be the one to break the case and that’s not the way to do it,” said Riley.
The composite sketch is the clearest picture the public has seen of the man police believe killed Abby Williams and Libby German five months ago. The teenagers were murdered while hiking in Delphi.
Investigators want the public to know they aren’t scrolling through Facebook looking for leads. They’re focused on tips coming through email and the hotline. Since Monday, more than 1,300 tips have been called in or emailed.
“It’s too early at this time to really say one way or another is promising and what is not,” said Riley.
False accusations posted online, connecting a person to this horrific crime, could result in legal trouble.
“I’m sure there’s an attorney somewhere who will be more than happy to help that person, that victim now who you thought was a suspect and now they’re coming after you criminally,” said Riley.
Since February, detectives have processed 1,000 persons of interest. Before this week, 5-10 investigators were working this case daily. Now there are 25-30 investigators working this case daily.
If you have a tip, don’t post in online. The tip line is 844.459.5786 or you can email leads to firstname.lastname@example.org