THE grandfather of a girl slain in the unsolved Delphi 'Snapchat murders' has welcomed an update in the case after police announced a hunt for the creator of a fake online account that groomed underage girls.
Eric Erksin told The Sun that he was "thankful" for the potential breakthrough in the investigation, which may finally provide answers as to what happened to his granddaughter, Abby Williams, 13, and her best friend Libby German, 14.
The two young teens were found dead in February 2017 in Delphi, Indiana near theMonon High Bridge Trail.
Their killer has never been found and police have never disclosed how the girls died.
Updates in the case have been few and far between in the years since. However, on Tuesday, Indiana State Police announced that they were looking for the person behind a bogus social media account, called anthony_shots, that they believed may be tied to the case.
The profile was active between 2016 and 2017 across a number of social media platforms, including Instagram and Snapchat, police said.
The bogus account used images of a known male model and portrayed himself as being extremely wealthy and owning multiple sports cars.
In a news release, the Indiana State Police said the creator of the profile used their contrived opulence while communicating with underage girls to "solicit nude images, obtain their addresses, and attempt to meet them."
The identity of the male model used by the account in its profile pictures is known by investigators and they are not considered a person of interest in the case.
The model's images were reportedly used without their knowledge or consent.
Reacting to the update by phone on Tuesday, Erksin told The Sun that while he hasn't heard from detectives directly, he's grateful that authorities are continuing to seek answers in Abby's death.
"I'm thankful for that [news release] because it proves that law enforcement are still working," he said.
"That's all we can ask. And as difficult as it all is, we just have to leave them to it and let them do their jobs."
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Detectives say they want information about the person who created the account.
Anyone who tried to meet with or communicated with the anthony_shots profile has been told to contact state police immediately.
"Please provide as much information as you possibly can," the department said in a press release. "For example, when you communicated with anthony_shots, how you communicated with the profile, what social media applications the account used, and if anthony_shots attempted to meet you or obtain your address.
"If you have saved images or conversations with the anthony_shots profile, please attach them to your email."
Police did not elaborate as to specifically why police believe the account may be tied to the murders of 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German back in February 2017.
It's currently unclear whether police believe the two girls met with the creator of the account.
Abigail and Liberty vanished while walking along the Monon High Bridge Trail in Delphi on Feb. 13, 2017.
Their bodies were found the following day near a river. Police have never disclosed how the girls were killed.
Within days of the killings, investigators released two grainy photos of a suspect walking on the abandoned railroad bridge the girls had visited.
They also released an audio recording of a man believed to be the suspect saying “down the hill.”
Then, in April 2019, a video was released which shows the man suspected of killing the teens walking on the abandoned railroad bridge the girls had visited.
Relatively few updates have been shared by investigators in the years since.
Police announced at the end of September that they were moving to a new center to investigate the case.
Erksin previously his frustration over the unsolved case to The Sun back in October.
He said not knowing what happened to his granddaughter and her best friend "can consume you."
"The police share very little information regarding the case and its details and as family members, we do find that frustrating.
"But we also understand that it has to be that way to maintain the integrity of the case.
"It's been a while since they released any information."
FAMILY REMAIN 'HOPEFUL'
Despite the length of time that has passed since Abby and Liberty's deaths, Eric said he remains hopeful their murders will be solved.
"After the girls' tragedy, the phrase 'gods' got this' was used.
"I absolutely believe it will be solved. I'm a believer.
"I might not see the judgment in my lifetime and the penalty completed.
"But there is a judgment at the end. And the person responsible will meet their maker.
"There is always that sunken feeling. The unknown will eat you up, the anger, frustration. It can consume you.
"I get that and I think every family member gets that.
"Trust me, not every day is rosy and cheerful. February 13 is very very difficult."
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to send tips to this email address: [email protected]
Information sent by email is kept confidential and is only shared with investigators. The telephone Tip Line is (844) 459-5786. Tips are also accepted by the Indiana State Police at (800) 382-7537, or by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department at (765) 564-2413.
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