Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

Delphi, Indiana- there’s not much there. It’s a small town surrounded by corn and bean fields, near the place where the Tippecanoe River joins the Wabash; so much like the little town where I lived from the time I was five years old, until I left for college. But I didn’t really ever “leave” for college. I went to school at Purdue, which is very close to Delphi. I spent many weekends traveling back home from school so I could eat my mom’s delicious home-cooking, and trick her into doing my laundry for me. I probably passed through or near Delphi more times than I can remember.

Delphi is never in the news. People there are proud, hard-working, and close. When you live in such a tiny place, you form bonds with people that last a lifetime. If you aren’t someone who grew up this way, then you never can truly understand what it’s like. People look out for each other. They go to church on Sunday and meet afterwards at the only restaurant in the area, drinking coffee, gossiping, and eating food made by the owner himself (who also just might be the town judge, county commissioner, or even the town’s only barber).

I have one, very pleasant memory about Delphi that I don’t have about some of those other little towns close to where I grew up. I broke the 500 freestyle swimming school record in Delphi, Indiana when I was in high school. It was unexpected, exciting, and I can still hear my swim coach yelling as I swam those laps to victory.

Now that memory is tainted with what has happened there in the past couple of weeks. From now on, when I think about Delphi, I will think about Liberty and Abigail, their families, their neighbors, and the unspeakable tragedy that should have never happened.

On February 13, 2017, two young girls, Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, decided they wanted to go hiking on the Delphi Historic Trail system. The girls were best friends and both enjoyed being active, hiking, and playing sports. Liberty and Abigail were dropped off in the afternoon for their hike, and were to be picked up just a short time later. They never showed up to their designated pick up point. They were reported missing, and numerous volunteers, family members, and police officers searched everywhere for the girls that evening and the next morning.

On the afternoon of February fourteenth, their bodies were found approximately three quarters of a mile from where the girls were last seen. And so, Delphi, Indiana would never be the same.

What people don’t understand about little towns is that there really isn’t that much to do, so you invent as many fun things as you can. Hanging out by a cool-looking bridge near some hiking trails would be quite common for teenagers. Those girls had probably been hiking in that area hundreds of times before without incident. They were dropped off by a parent/guardian, and they were to be picked up by another parent/guardian. They weren’t unsupervised, wild children running around the town all hours of the night. It was still light outside when those girls were there. I’m sure they felt safe. I’m certain they knew the area. I’m positive they did everything by the book, exactly the way they had always done it before. Of course they would never think that evil was lurking just feet away while they were taking selfies and doing cartwheels along the trail.

Some comments I’ve read on social media about the murders have been brutal. People always need someone to blame when something horrible happens, and I understand that. But in this case, blaming anyone but the person or persons who committed this crime is ridiculous and it won’t help anyone. The parents did nothing wrong. The girls were not five-years-old being left alone in an area they didn’t know. Liberty and Abigail were dropped off during the day, the sun still shining in the sky. They were to be picked up a short time after their hike. There is no one to blame here but the monster/s who murdered those poor, young, innocent girls.

I can only imagine what the teens must have thought when they noticed a man on the path, following at a distance. Apparently Liberty must have felt that something wasn’t right, so she snapped a picture of the stranger, and then, at some point, when things really started going wrong, she had the presence of mind to put her cell phone in her pocket and press the video/record button. She recorded at least a portion of what occurred that day. Because of her, the detectives investigating the crime have a suspect, they have a picture of him on the path, and they have a recording of his voice. I’m amazed at the bravery, intuitiveness, and determination of these girls. I just wish they hadn’t lost their lives that day.

Someone out there must know something. Someone has seen the picture of the man and has had a feeling he looks familiar, even though the picture is grainy and a bit blurred. There is someone out there who has heard the man’s voice on the tiny portion of the recording that the Indiana State Police has shared with the public and thought, “You know, that sounds like…”

So, to that person out there who knows something, come forward and help the police find this murderer. Help the investigators find this disgusting child killer who is too much of a coward to turn himself in and face the consequences. Let these sweet girls rest in peace, and allow their families and this close-knit community to begin to heal. It’s going to take a very long time, but they need to put this horrific event to rest. The only way they can do that is if the murderer is behind bars. The sooner that happens, the better for everyone. After all, he’s still out there, and he will more than likely kill again.

Surprisingly, when he is caught, it will be in large part because of the victims’ quick thinking and bravery. Recording the scumbag was a gift that Liberty left to all of us. In her last moments, she made it clear that she wasn’t going to let this horrible killer take the life of another child. She was going to leave the evidence that it would take to find the man or men who killed her and her best friend, even if she knew she wouldn’t be left here on Earth to see it happen.

The investigators will find the killer or killers. And when they do, I hope he/they get exactly what he/they deserve. Your time is limited, Child Killer/s, thanks to two smart teen girls who were not going to go down without a fight, or at least, without letting us all here know who you are.

Rest in peace, Liberty and Abigail, and enjoy all of your amazing hikes in Heaven.

Feature image via Facebook

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Tammi Landry-Gilder

Tammi is an author, wife, mother and blogger who lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan, with her husband, two sons, three dogs, and too many fish in a tank to count.

My Baby Was Stillborn, But Still Born

In: Child Loss, Grief
My Baby Was Stillborn, But Still Born www.herviewfromhome.com

My baby was stillborn, but still born. In a cool white hospital room where so many had been born before. My body trembled and shook as his body worked its way out of my womb and into the hands of a doctor. He was void of breath, of sound, of movement, but he was still born. My baby was stillborn, but still lived. In the darkness of my womb. The outline of his body was visible against the darkness of the screen, his presence undeniable. The sound of his heartbeat drowned out the sound of mine as I watched his...

Keep Reading

I Am Not My Child’s Death

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith, Grief
I Am Not My Child's Death www.herviewfromhome.com

We are NOT what has happened to us or what this world says we are. That is not what defines us. While we are grieving parents, that is not what our whole story has to be about. Although, at times, we feel that our story is over. We ask, how do we go on and live full lives without our sweet Sophie with us? I’m still not 100 percent sure I know the answer to that. BUT the Lord says I am beloved. I am redeemed and accepted. I am holy and chosen. I am righteous and complete. I am...

Keep Reading

The Hardest Moments After Losing a Child

In: Child Loss, Grief, Motherhood
The Hardest Moments After Losing a Child www.herviewfromhome.com

Within the first three months following the death of my newborn daughter, I participated in one baby shower, attended two first birthday parties, had multiple infants in and around my home, and watched not one, not two, but five of my closest friends take happy, healthy babies home from the hospital. And in the midst of my own life-altering experience, I purchased, wrapped, and mailed a gift to every one of those new babies, because they deserved one. In the days and months after my daughter died, I didn’t run away or hide from babies at all. And this seemed...

Keep Reading

6 Commitments I Made to Myself After Child Loss

In: Child Loss, Grief, Kids, Motherhood
6 Commitments I Made to Myself After Child Loss www.herviewfromhome.com

Following the death of our infant daughter, I found myself facing an opportunity to activate the immense power of personal choice. Time and time again. Hour after hour, day after day. It felt as if every moment that passed provided me with a choice: to let the grief consume me, or not. In the midst of the most emotionally complex experience of my life, my ability to survive felt as simple as that. Will grief consume me, or not? Once I began believing that Olivia had lived out her life’s plan completely—that she had come, she had loved, she had...

Keep Reading

To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone

In: Child Loss, Grief, Infertility, Motherhood
To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone www.herviewfromhome.com

You are walking the hardest path anyone will ever walk—living this life without your children. Your losses have come in many shapes and sizes. You’ve lost tiny heartbeats early in the womb. You’ve screamed and sobbed through labor to deliver a silent but perfect little bundle. You’ve held a fragile infant for hours, days, weeks, or months, only to give him back to Heaven. You’ve watched your little one grow into a curious toddler and then held her a final time as disease or an accident took her away. You’ve lived a full childhood with your baby and even watched...

Keep Reading

A Letter to My Mama, From Your Baby in Heaven

In: Child Loss, Faith, Grief, Miscarriage
A Letter to My Mama, From Your Baby in Heaven www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Mama, I know you miss me and wish you could watch me grow up. But instead, you sit in that rocking chair, tears streaming down your face, arms wrapped around the blanket that was supposed to be mine. I see you crying, Mama, wishing you could hold me. Wishing you could look into my eyes. Wishing you could hear me cry or call you “Mama”. I want you to know Jesus rocks me to sleep every night and while He does it, He tells me all about you. I know tulips are your favorite flower and that every spring...

Keep Reading

God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

In: Child Loss, Faith, Grief
God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle www.herviewfromhome.com

I used to be someone who said, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” That was before I had faced any hardships in my life. I didn’t know who God truly is. When people are going through something hard and decide to share it, it makes people uncomfortable. It’s hard to watch others who are hurting, and it’s hard not knowing how to help when it’s someone you love. “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” is a very well-meaning encouragement that I know is meant in love. I’ve said it before! But it’s not really...

Keep Reading

Why I Got a Tattoo With My Teenage Daughters

In: Child Loss, Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Why I Got a Tattoo With My Teenage Daughters www.herviewfromhome.com

“We should get a tattoo, Mom.” I laughed. I knew it was just my younger daughter, Sarah’s way of getting herself a tattoo—to go along with her nose ring, and six ear piercings. She didn’t really want me to get one. Did she? “Truth!” My oldest, more conservative daughter, Elle, chimed in. “We should all go.” What? Home from college just five minutes, maybe she was bored. I heard tattoos really hurt and she hates pain, like I do. I glared at my two daughters, now 17 and 19. They can read my mind. I knew it! There was something...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading