A man accused of kidnapping and abusing a 9-year-old girl in Indiana is now being linked to one of the state’s most mysterious murder investigations.
James Brian Chadwell “might” be connected to the 2017 Delphi murders of eighth-grade girls Abby Williams and Libby German, ABC News reported, citing the sheriff. The case has garnered national attention and has gone unsolved for four years.
“Our investigators are looking into him,” Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said of Chadwell, the Journal & Courier reported.
Chadwell was arrested last week in Lafayette — about 20 miles from Delphi — on attempted murder, kidnapping and various physical and sexual abuse charges, court records show.
According to an affidavit, a 9-year-old girl went missing April 19 in Lafayette. Chadwell is accused of luring the girl into his home under the ruse that she could pet his dogs.
Chadwell attacked the girl once she was inside, choking her and knocking her unconscious, according to the prosecutors.
The girl told police that he brought her to his basement and began to rape her when he was interrupted by officers knocking on his door, authorities say.
Chadwell answered the door and allowed officers into the home, where the girl was found in a basement that had been locked with a chain, according to prosecutors. The girl was “visibly distraught and crying, with her clothing on the floor beside her,” prosecutors say.
Chadwell was charged Monday with attempted murder, child molestation, kidnapping, criminal confinement resulting in serious bodily injury, battery and strangulation, court records show.
“Who do I speak with about a psychological evaluation?” Chadwell asked the judge at his Monday hearing, the Journal & Courier reported.
Delphi murders investigation
Police have not shared details as to how they may have connected Chadwell with the deaths of Abby Williams and Libby German.
Libby and Abby were hiking on a trail Feb. 13, 2017, when they went missing, according to the FBI. Their parents reported them missing after they did not arrive at their pick-up location.
A day later, volunteers in the search found their bodies in the woods east of Delphi in Carroll County, authorities say. The causes of their deaths were never disclosed.
The FBI released a voice recording and video of the suspect. He is heard saying, “Guys … Down the hill” in the audio extracted from Libby’s phone, according to Indiana State Police.
Hundreds of individuals, including witnesses and suspects, have been interviewed during the four-year investigation, WRTV reported.
The girls’ deaths have been the subject of many documentaries and true crime podcasts as the search for answers continues.
Abby’s mother, Anna Williams, said on the 4-year anniversary of their deaths, “We will get answers. We will have to wait patiently for that,” WRTV reported.