Police in Indiana may have a break in the 2017 murder of two teenage girls who were found dead on a railroad track after posting pictures online of their hike that caught a haunting image of their murderer.
Last month, police arrested a man on suspicion of child molestation close to 100 miles from where Abby Williams and Libby German were murdered nearly two years ago. As the Daily Mail reported, 46-year-old Charles Eldridge was picked up after a sting in which he allegedly tried to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl, raising suspicions of whether he could have been involved in the murder of the teens.
A report from Fox 59 claimed that Eldridge told police he had sexual encounters with minors younger than 13 on multiple occasions, and many online noted a striking similarity between Eldridge’s mugshot and the sketch drawn of the murder suspect.
Captain Dave Bursten of the Indiana State Police would not say if Eldridge was a suspect in the unsolved murder of the teen girls, but did acknowledge the stir his arrest caused on social media as many questioned whether he could be the suspect.
“We know it’s hard for the public and media to resist posting side-by-side comparisons on social media of people who are alleged to have committed heinous crimes and also resemble the sketch of the Delphi murder suspect,” Burnsten said in a release published by WNDU.
Charles Eldridge was arrested this week in Union City, Indiana for attempting to molest a 13yo, and comparisons started to be made between his appearance, and the suspect in the Delphi murders.— Creep It Real (@CreepItRealPod) January 11, 2019
What do you think? pic.twitter.com/PMAxl4M5h9
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department also praised the proactive work to arrest Eldridge through the sting operation in which he believed he was arranging a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl.
“This case shows a great example of why our investigators engage in this type of proactive policing. By conducting this online sting operation, our investigators were able to uncover an unreported molestation case that had already occurred,” Randolph County Sheriff’s Department Captain Tom Pullins said, via Fox 59.
The murder of the Indiana teens drew national interest in 2017, especially as they had taken a picture of the man believed to be the suspect, and German captured audio of a man saying “Down the hill” on her phone. Police praised the teen for having the foresight to make a voice recording that could be later used to identify the suspect.
Charles Eldridge has been charged with child molestation, attempted child molestation, and child solicitation. The Indiana State Police said they will notify the public as soon as an arrest is made in the unsolved murder of the teen girls, but would not say any more and did not indicate if Eldridge was considered a suspect.