Authorities are investigating whether an Indiana man who killed himself with the police during a detention in June after allegedly raping a woman was involved in the kidnapping and murder of two teenage girls in 2017.
Paul Etter, 55, of Tippicanoe County, Indiana, committed suicide during a five-hour standby period with police in Lebanon, Indiana, on June 27 after a large-scale manhunt.
Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby told Journal & Courier On Friday Etter & # 39; s & # 39; name came through the process & # 39; when asked if detectives were investigating Etter as a murderer of teenagers Liberty German, 14 and Abby Williams, 13, who were abducted in 2017 and found dead.
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Authorities said that Paul Etter, 55, who committed suicide during a police uprising in June, may be a suspect in the 2017 death of two teenage girls abducted from a trail in Indiana
However, Leazenby added that authorities were investigating all possible suspects in the murder of teenagers, alongside Etter.
Etter committed suicide after being searched for allegedly sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman after abducting her when she exchanged a band at a Girl Scout camp in Tippicanoe on June 22.
This is not the first time Etter & # 39; s name has appeared in connection with the murders of teenage girls.
After the death of Etter in June, Sgt. From the sheriff of Tippecanoe County. Thad Miller said investigators had passed on information about him to Carroll County investigators, according to routine police practices, after his suicide, but he didn't think Etter was at the top of the potential murder suspects list.
The bodies of Abby Williams, 13, (left) and Liberty German, 14, (right) were found in Delphi, Indiana, on February 14, 2017, the day after they were dropped off for a walk on a trail
A map with the investigation into the disappearance of the girls and the recovery of the boy
German placed this Snapchat photo & # 39; s of Abigail (photo left) close to Monon High Bridge Trail when they started walking around 2 p.m. on February 13.
At the time, Miller also noted that investigators had also shared information about other suspects with the Carroll County investigators.
German and Abby, from Delphi, Indiana, were abducted on February 13, 2017 after a family member dropped them off so they could go for a walk near an abandoned railroad bridge.
At one point during their walk, German posted a photo of Williams on Monon High Bridge Trail on Snapchat. It would be Williams's last photo before both girls were found dead.
The girls did not show up at a pre-arranged pick-up location and their bodies were found the next day in a rugged, wooded area after a search.
Their way of dying has not been revealed and the police have revealed few details in their investigation, which they still consider to be an active matter.
Authorities released a sketch of their prime suspect in 2017 (left) before they released a remarkably different sketch of their suspect in April 2019 (right)
A few days after their death, investigators left two grainy photos of the suspect walking on the deserted rail bridge that the girls had visited, and a sound recording of a man who suspected the suspect was going down the hill & # 39 ;.
That photo and video were found on Germany's mobile phone and recorded by her before she died. The police greeted her as a hero for recording potentially crucial evidence.
Authorities have released this image of their prime suspect, who has recovered from Germany's mobile phone. She had managed to record a video of the man before she died
Five months later, in July 2017, the composite sketch of the suspect of an FBI artist was released. It depicts a white man with a prominent nose and a goatee, wearing a cap and what appears to be a sweater with a hood.
Police said the suspect has reddish brown hair, is between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10 and weighs between 180 and 220 pounds.
But in April 2019, the police released a new composite drawing of their suspect, which looks very different from the original image. This man is said to be between 18 and 40 years old. The police said the new sketch is more like the girls' killer.
At the same time, the police released the video of the man who had been taken from the German's telephone. They asked people to watch the man walk and listen to his voice. People were asked to tell the police if his gait or voice looked or sounded familiar.
A reward of more than $ 230,000 is offered for information that leads to arrests or arrests and convictions in the murders of the girls.
Anyone with information about their death is asked to call the Delphi Homicide Investigation Tip Line at 844-459-5786; the Indiana State Police at 800-382-7537; the Sheriff & # 39; s Department of Carroll County at 765-564-2413; or email Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.
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