Community comes together during candlelight vigil for Carroll County teens

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CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Many in Carroll County are feeling loss, hurt and anger after two bodies were found near Deer Creek. Police made the announcement at the same time they said they were pulling back search efforts for two missing 13-year-old girls.

A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday evening at the United Methodist Church in Delphi.

“It’s really hard,” said Hannah McCleskey.

“It’s hard to even think that someone in Delphi would do something like that,” said Dylan Baker.

The unthinkable happened when 13-year-olds Liberty German and Abigail Williams went missing Monday.

“It’s really hard … because I have a daughter of my own,” said Courtney Pearson. “It’s just really hard.”

Authorities and community members spent hours searching for the girls.

During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley announced two bodies were found a mile east of Delphi on the edge of Deer Creek around 12:15 p.m.

Although identities of the bodies remain unknown, they were found less than a mile upstream from the Monon High Bridge, the last place the teens were seen Monday.

“When we found out it was more one of the things, like, I didn’t even know how to feel because my bones were shaking,” Baker said.

“I found out in my class and I just cried my eyes out,” Keri Toole said.

Toole went to school with Liberty and Abigail. She said it’s going to take a while to heal. Helping students heal is now the mission of Greg Briles, the superintendent of Delphi Community Schools.

“We started the day out with hope that these two young ladies would be found safe and sound,” Briles said. “Unfortunately, it ended with disbelief.”

Briles said counseling services will be available for all students throughout the rest of the week.

“Our first priority is the safety of our kids moving forward,” he said. “We will be on a soft lockdown in our building throughout the rest of the week.”

But others in the community are also trying to heal.

“I’m angry, I guess. It’s really sad,” said Hannah McCleskey.

The candlelight vigil gave people a chance to remember Libby and Abigail.

Holly McCleskey remembers her good friend Libby as “very kind and hilarious.”

“She was very open and positive and just really kind,” McCleskey said.

Autopsies for both bodies are scheduled for Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. in Terre Haute.