DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — A newly released sketch of a man suspected of killing two Indiana teenagers in 2017 "more accurately represents" the man believed to be their killer than a sketch released months after the girls were slain, state police said Wednesday.
The statement from Indiana State Police sought to clarify information about the two sketches on behalf of the multi-agency task force that's investigating the February 2017 killings of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams.
Master Trooper Taylor Bryant told The Indianapolis Star on Monday that he drew the sketch that was released this week just three days after the girls' bodies were found in a wooded area where they had been hiking near their northern Indiana hometown of Delphi. The sketch shows a clean-shaven white man whose age could range from his 20s to late 30s, according to police.
The police statement issued Wednesday said suspect descriptions were developed early in their investigation and that authorities "initially believed the sketch "released in July 2017 of a white man with a prominent nose and a goatee, possibly in his 40s or 50s, "was a person of interest in this murder investigation."
"Now, as the investigation has matured and past information has been reassessed, it is the belief of investigators with the Multi-Agency Task Force that the person depicted in the sketch released on April 22nd more accurately represents the person wanted for the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German," according to the statement.
The new sketch is "representative of the face of the person captured" in video taken from German's cellphone of a man walking on an abandoned railroad bridge, the police statement said.
Police released that brief video Monday of the suspect walking along that bridge, which the girls had visited while out hiking on Feb. 13, 2017 — the day they were slain.
Their bodies were found the next day, in a wooded area about a quarter-mile from that bridge near their hometown of Delphi, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.
Authorities haven't said how German and Williams were killed and have released few details about their findings.
Police also released a longer audio clip Monday they said captures the suspect saying "guys, down the hill." That audio also came from German's cellphone. Within days of the slayings, police released two grainy photos of the suspect on the same bridge and a shorter audio cut, all taken from German's cellphone.