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Man arrested in Colorado could be tied to murders of 2 Indiana girls

The bodies of Abigail Williams, 13 (left), and Liberty German, 14, were found Feb. 14 in Delphi, Indiana. | Photo courtesy WRTV-TV

Indiana investigators are looking into whether a man arrested for allegedly threatening people along a Colorado hiking trail could be a suspect in the February killings of two Indiana girls who were hiking.

State Police Sgt. Kim Riley says the agency is speaking with Colorado authorities about 31-year-old Daniel Nations to determine if he could be a suspect in the killings of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams.

The State Police cautioned in a news release that it has received thousands of photos of people alleged to look like a composite sketch of a person of interest in the case, and that it investigates each tip. State Police released that composite sketch earlier this year.

Riley says the first question is whether Nations was in Indiana on Feb. 13, when the Delphi teens vanished while hiking. Their bodies were found the next day near the town in Carroll County, Indiana, about 120 miles southwest of Chicago.

KCNC-TV in Denver reports Nations was arrested Monday for allegedly threatening several people with a hatchet on a hiking trail. He’s jailed in Teller County, Colorado, and charged with possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

The composite sketch depicts a white man with a prominent nose and a goatee who’s wearing a cap and what appears to be a hooded sweater. Police said the suspect has reddish-brown hair, stands between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10 and weighs between 180 and 220 pounds.

This photo released by the Indiana State Police shows a man Indiana authorities want to talk to the man in connection with the killings of two teenage girls. | Indiana State Police, distributed by the Associated Press
This photo released by the Indiana State Police shows a man Indiana authorities want to talk to the man in connection with the killings of two teenage girls. | Indiana State Police, distributed by the Associated Press

Investigators at that time asked the public to study the man’s facial features and contact them with any information on him.

The sketch was created by an artist from information collected by all the agencies, including the FBI, involved in the double-murder investigation, according to the state police.

Investigators released two grainy images in late February of a man they consider the main suspect in the killings. They also released audio of a male saying “down the hill.”

That evidence came from German’s cellphone.

Capt. David Bursten of the Indiana State Police and other law enforcement officials are shown at an earlier briefing on the murders of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13. The two Delphi, Ind. girls were killed while hiking the High Bridge Trail
Capt. David Bursten of the Indiana State Police and other law enforcement officials are shown at an earlier briefing on the murders of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13. The two Delphi, Ind. girls were killed while hiking the High Bridge Trail just east of the northwestern Indiana city. | John Terhune/Journal & Courier photo, distributed by the Associated Press

In March, Mike Patty, grandfather of Liberty German, urged people to study those images and come forward with any information.

Patty said then that anyone who noticed that a friend, relative or acquaintance had recently changed their appearance such as by shaving a beard or who is acting uncharacteristically strange should pass that on to authorities through a tip line. He urged people not to second-guess themselves about whether something they’ve noticed is significant.