DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — Progress has been slower than expected on the construction of a $1 million memorial park for two teenagers who were killed while hiking in northern Indiana, a volunteer contractor said.
Mike and Becky Patty came up with the idea for a park in the months after their 14-year-old granddaughter Liberty German and her 13-year-old friend Abigail Williams were killed. Their bodies were found in February 2017 on a hiking trail near Delphi, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.
Rob Cochran, a volunteer contractor, said Thursday that construction efforts at the 20-acre (8-hectare) Abby and Libby Memorial Park in Delphi have been hindered by recent rains, the Journal and Carrier reported.
“The conditions haven’t been the best,” Cochran said, adding that his contractors will do as much as they can before road construction season resumes in earnest next week.
“It was so terrible,” Cochran said of the slayings that remain unsolved. “We thought about contributing to the reward money, but everybody can give a dollar . But what can we do that other companies maybe can’t do?”
“We want nothing more than to see Mike make this dream come true for the girls,” he added.
For the Pattys, the scene was another opportunity to appreciate the efforts of family, friends and obliging businesses, while also trying to figure out advance progress on a $1 million vision without having to exhaust their funds.
“Slow and steady will get it done,” Mike Patty said.
That’s been the ethos since the spring of 2017 when the couple met at the Delphi home of Eric and Diane Erskin, Abby’s grandparents. The families began discussing ideas to honor their grandchildren that evolved into launching the L&A Park Foundation, a nonprofit with its own board dedicated to building a park, including three ball fields, an amphitheater and playgrounds.
L&A Park Foundation records show $229,000 in available funds from assorted fundraisers. The park foundation lists that it needs come up with another $590,000 to completely stock the park.