A sexual predator who killed himself during a standoff with police is being looked at as a possible suspect in the murders of Libby German and Abby Williams, according to a report.
Abby, 13, and Libby, 14, were abducted and killed after going for a hike in Delphi, Indiana, on Feb. 13, 2017.
The girls’ bodies were found the following day about a half-mile from the rural trail near the scenic Monon High Bridge, an abandoned railroad bridge over Deer Creek. Their killer has not been caught or identified, but authorities said during their investigation, they had looked at Paul Etter.
“His name has come up through the process," Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby told reporters, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.
Etter took his own life June 27 after being surrounded by law enforcement on a county road north of Lebanon.
Five days earlier, Etter is believed to have abducted a 26-year-old woman and sexually assaulted her on his family’s farm. He then let her go and evaded capture as police launched a massive search in the area.
The survivor was driving on Tippecanoe County 900 East when she realized she had a flat tire June 22, the Journal & Courier wrote. She pulled into Etter’s driveway about 4:30 a.m. and he asked her if she needed help, but she declined his offer because she didn’t feel safe.
But Etter followed her and when she pulled into a friend’s driveway, he pulled in as well and attacked her.
He handcuffed her and forced her into his car, driving to his family’s property on County Road 750 East, where he sexually assaulted her during the five hours he held her captive, officials said.
Law enforcement launched a search for the woman’s attacker, and on June 27, a Lebanon police officer pulled over a truck that had been reported stolen earlier that day.
Etter was behind the wheel.
He engaged in a five-hour standoff with police before killing himself.
Though the incident ended with Etter’s death, the case into the abduction and assault remains open as the investigation has not yet been completed, Tippecanoe County Sheriff Bob Goldsmith said.
Authorities there have passed on information about Etter to Carroll County investigators.
“We have shared information about Etter with them, but we’ve done that with other suspects, too,” Tippecanoe County sheriff's Sgt. Thad Miller said, according to the Journal & Courier.
Anyone with information about the killings of Libby and Abby is asked to call the Delphi Homicide Investigation Tip Line at 844-459-5786, the Indiana State Police at 800-382-7537, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department at 765-564-2413, or email Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.