State Police released an artist's sketch Monday (17 July) of a man considered the main suspect in the killings of two northern Indiana girls and urged the public to study the image and provide tips that could help them identify the suspect.
The composite sketch depicts a white man with a prominent nose and a goatee who's wearing a cap and what appears to be a hooded sweater. Police said the suspect has reddish-brown hair, stands between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10 and weighs between 180 and 220 pounds.
Police asked the public to examine the image, particularly the man's facial features, and contact them with any information that might help them identify him.
Liberty German, 14, vanished with 13-year-old Abigail Williams on Feb. 13 while hiking a trail near their hometown of Delphi, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Their bodies were found the next day in nearby woods. Authorities have not disclosed how the girls were killed.
More than $230,000 in reward money is being offered for information leading to an arrest or arrests and convictions in the teens' killings.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley said the sketch is "an artist's composite of the information" collected by all the agencies involved in the investigation, including the FBI. Riley said investigators consider the sketch a "very important" development.
"It will give people a clearer image of who we are looking for," he said.
The sketch is the first new information released by authorities about the suspect since late February, when they distributed two grainy images of a man walking along an old railroad bridge the girls had visited while hiking. They also released audio of a male saying "down the hill".
That evidence came from German's cellphone, who police have hailed as a hero for recording potentially crucial evidence.
Riley said investigators believe the man captured in the photos and in the new artist's sketch killed both girls.