After Suicide, Police Seek Connection to Murder of 2 Girls

Paul Etter lived near where Indiana teens were kidnapped
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2019 12:57 AM CDT
Dead Man May Be Suspect in Murder of 2 Teenagers
Paul Etter.   (Tippecanoe Sheriff's Office)

Police have a new suspect in the 2017 murder of two 13-year-old girls in Indiana—but they're never going to be able to question him. Paul Etter, 55, killed himself June 27 after an hours-long standoff with police in Boone County, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reports. He lived in Buck Creek, less than 10 miles away from Delphi, where Liberty German and Abigail Williams were kidnapped and murdered after going for a hike. Police had been seeking Etter for the kidnapping and rape of a woman days earlier. Investigators say Etter abducted the 26-year-old woman after her car had a flat tire, brought her back to his family's farm, sexually assaulted her, and held her captive for about five hours before bringing her back to her vehicle. He shot himself after a standoff that began when an officer spotted him driving a stolen truck.

The Goshen News reports that Etter asked to call his wife during the standoff, but was unable to. Asked Friday whether investigators suspect Etter killed the two Delphi teenagers, Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said: "His name has come up through the process." The sheriff said, however, that he "would caution folks on not getting ramped up on just one certain individual because of his recent attention because of what he's done," WTHR reports. He said investigators have asked for Etter's DNA and autopsy results to determine whether he is connected to the murders. "Let's let our investigators do their job and play this out and follow it out as far as we can and see where it takes us," Leazenby said. (In May, investigators released new audio and video of the suspect in the 2017 murders.)

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