November is usually the month where we are all treated to every other person on Facebook listing off the things they’re grateful for. I suppose this is a pretty apt post then.
I’m grateful they’ve finally made an arrest in the murders of Abby Williams and Liberty “Libby” German, the two girls who went out for a hike on February 13, 2017 and were never seen alive again. The case gained national attention back when it happened and I just saw reports on all the media channels yesterday so if you watch the news you’ve probably seen the story. Libby had the foresight to videotape her murderer. You’ve probably seen the video. “Guys, down the hill,” he directs them.
It probably seems like a strange thing to be thankful for. I don’t know the two girls. I don’t know their families. But I know Delphi.
I moved to a little tiny town called Flora when I was 2. I lived there with my mom and dad and eventually my two brothers until my parents’ divorce. I moved after I finished fourth grade there. Flora is 10, maybe 15 minutes from Delphi.
More importantly, my grandparents lived in Delphi. I spent the night with them countless times out at their farm growing up. When I got a little older I got to spend an entire week out at their house. My dad and aunt grew up there and both graduated from Delphi High School. My brother moved in with my dad about 5 years after we moved. He lived in Delphi and graduated from that high school as well. My niece moved in with her dad a few years after her parent’s divorce and she, too, attended Delphi High School. I’ve played in the park there. I’ve eaten at their restaurants. My grandparents used to take me to the Dairy Queen there. It’s not home to me but it’s close. And those murders hit a little too hard for people I didn’t even know.
My brother was actually part of the search team that went looking for the two girls the day they went missing. They weren’t found until the following day. He was not a part of the search party that found them. In fact, I don’t believe he was even out that day. I do know he said that the people had searched the area where they were found and they were not there on the 13th.
I see the comments from ignorant people. Comments that ask why their parents allowed them to be out in that area by themselves. People saying they would never leave their own children unsupervised and this is what can happen when you aren’t watching them.
Abby was 13. Her best friend, Libby, was 14. They went hiking along the Delphi Historic Trails, near the Monon High Bridge, an abandoned railroad bridge. It is a very tall, very ominous bridge. I’m sure I’ve seen it or at least passed it by but I haven’t actually been there. They were not tiny children that needed to be supervised. More importantly, this was Delphi.
People leave their fucking car keys in their cars. It would never even occur to them that someone might steal the car.
I remember climbing into my brother’s car one time and not only were the keys out there, in the unlocked car, of course, but the damn debit card was out there, too!
They don’t lock doors. They’re not worried about people stealing shit. They let their kids play outside. They don’t always bring their bikes in each night. And they sure as hell were never worried that some goddamn sick asshole from that very town would abduct and murder two young girls.
I was just down at my brother’s 50th birthday party a few weeks ago. I overheard his stepson talking about those murders and how it affected him, how it affected the entire town. He described it as a turning point. There was life before the murders and then there was life after the murders.
This isn’t a town that deals with murder. What happened to Libby and Abby rocked the entire town whether people knew them personally or not. I know it’s a common phrase when things like that happen, “Things like that don’t happen here!” But things like that don’t happen in Delphi. Until they do.
For five and a half years people have been waiting for answers. They’ve been searching for the person who did this. Sadly, it seems to be someone who was right beside them the entire time. He even worked at the local CVS, and in a chilling story that was confirmed by LIbby’s grandmother, he actually helped her as she was printing photos off of her phone for Libby’s funeral and then let her know he wasn’t going to charge her for the pictures. Sick fuck.
There are still more questions than answers as the investigators are being extremely tight lipped. However, this Thanksgiving there is someone sitting in jail on murder charges. It will never bring those two precious girls back; I do realize that. And I can’t even begin to imagine what their families are going through, have been going through these last almost 6 years. I would imagine that the overwhelming emotion is still sadness. But I truly hope that this Thanksgiving they feel at least a small measure of hope that the person who took their sweet girls from them will finally be held responsible. Being thankful for such a thing is too much to put on them so I will be thankful that the monster has been captured. No, it won’t bring them back but he’s not out there lurking in the shadows any longer either. And that is something to be thankful for.