The Indiana grandparents of Liberty German begged the public for help Thursday in finding the person who killed the 14-year-old and her best friend, 13-year-old Abigail Williams.
"A phrase that was jokingly attached to Libby in our family — from asking her to pick up her shoes, her school backpack, her coat — her first reply would almost always be, 'I will in a minute,'" her grandfather, Mike Patty said.
"I believe if she were able to speak, she would ask people to please give her the one minute she always asked for to really study the picture and listen to the audio clip."
He was referring to a photo and sound captured on Liberty’s cellphone that showed a man in a baseball cap and that same man saying the words, "Down the hill."
Police recently released those clues in an attempt to identify the person or persons who they suspect killed the girls as they hiked in a remote park. They were reported missing on February 13 when they failed to show up at a meeting point with a relative who was going to drive them home.
The next day, their bodies were found about a half-mile upstream from an abandoned railroad bridge.
The girls were best friends and did everything together, their families said.
Police said that Liberty had the presence of mind to activate her cell phone when the pair encountered the man in the hat.
"Both the girls are heroes," Patty said. They stuck together. I don’t know exactly what happened out there that day, but I imagine there was probably an opportunity for one or both to separate and try to make a break... But those girls loved each other. They were good friends. Neither one of them left each other’s side
"This horrible crime has torn a hole in our families that will never heal," the distraught grandfather said. "It’s the small things that seem to hurt the most. It's just natural to holler for them come to dinner; or in the mornings to get up and get ready for school.”