THE sister of a girl killed in the Delphi 'Snapchat murders' has recounted the final words she exchanged with her late sibling before she was tragically murdered alongside her best friend in an Indiana woods.
Kelsi German, 21, was among one of the last people to see her 14-year-old sister Libby alive.
Then 17, Kelsi had been at home on the morning of February 13, 2017, when Libby, who had the day off from school, asked her if she could drive both her and her friend Abigail Williams, 13, to the Delphi Historic Trails.
Kelsi had plans to meet up with her boyfriend later that afternoon before going to work and initially told Libby no.
But believing she had been a "bad sister" of late, not hanging out with her younger sister as often as she should, a guilt-riddled Kelsi eventually agreed to take the girls just after 1.30pm, provided they found their own ride home.
"At the time I just didn't feel as though I'd been taking her enough places or spending as much time together as we should so eventually I agreed if she could find someone else to pick her up again.
"And then a little while later, she came back and said, 'Okay, dad will come pick us up if you'll drop us off."
Kelsi then made the short drive to the trails with Abby and Libby, dropping them off just after 1.35pm.
Before driving away, Kelsi recalled for The Sun how she told Libby she loved her, a sentiment that was echoed back by the young teen.
"My family has always been really big on making sure you tell everybody that you love them and goodbye each time you hang up the phone or leave the house.
"We've always said, 'goodbye, I love you and I'll see you later'.
"I remember making sure they had their sweatshirts," Kelsi reflected, "I told her I loved her and she said it back, just like any other time we were leaving each other."
Libby then turned her back and walked away with Abby.
That was the last time Kelsi would see her sister alive.
Libby and Abby never failed to meet her father at a pre-arranged pick-up location later that afternoon.
After an extensive search of their area, their bodies were found the following day on a steep embankment around half a mile upstream from the Monon High Bridge Trail where Libby had uploaded her final Snapchat post a day earlier.
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Police have never publicly released how Libby and Abby were killed. Their killer has also still not been found.
Kelsi says she has relived the hours leading up to the girls' deaths over and over again in her mind every day for the last four-and-a-half years.
"Every time something new happens [in the case] I have to relive those moments," Kelsi said. "I think you learn a lot about yourself when something like this happens.
"When I look back on it I just now try not to feel guilty about what happened, or what I could've done differently.
"I think survivor guilt is a real thing and it's so difficult to leap over. Every time something happens to you, it strikes you again.
"Even after all this time when you know there's absolutely nothing you could've done, there's still something inside of you that's going to say, 'What if I would've done this different?' or 'What if I never dropped them off?' – and that's still a big obstacle for me.
"That's one of the biggest things I've had to cope with is learning how not to feel guilty about something you couldn't have changed even if you wanted to."
Kelsi said she cannot remember Libby nor Abby specifying while they wanted to visit the Delphi Historic Trails that day.
She said they didn't say whether or not they had plans to meet up with anyone else inside the park.
Remembering Feb. 13 2017 as a warm day, she said she believes the pair "wanted to go out and do something, rather than being stuck in the house all day."
"And so they were like, 'Hey, let's go to this place,'" Kelsi theorized.
"It's a pretty normal place to do and take pictures, hang out, or talk to each other.
"So I think it was just something fun to do on a nice day. It's really like one of the only things you can do in Delphi other than getting food."
The hours, days, weeks, and even months after the death of her sister are a "blur" for Kelsi, she said.
From the moment Libby and Abby's bodies were identified, Kelsi said it's difficult for her to recall anything that happened in the weeks that followed.
Repressed memories from that time will sometimes present themselves in fragments, she said. She'll remember someone being in a room near her that she previously couldn't, or receiving a letter or a gift from a friend or sympathetic stranger.
Other members of her family have reportedly suffered from a similar trauma-induced mental block regarding the months and weeks after Libby's death.
One thing the German family will never forget, however, is the "outpouring in our community of just so many people who were there for us," Kelsi said.
"It was amazing," she recounted. "It was just so humbling knowing that all of those people were there for you at one of the hardest times of your life, suffering unimaginable grief."
That support, Kelsi added, has never wavered. It's also extended beyond the local community, with restless true crime fanatics and justice seekers keeping the story alive through podcasts, blog posts, and on discussion boards.
"It's amazing how many people are still there supporting us. Every time something happens and we get put back out in the media it just brightens our hope it gives us so much faith in all the people that are out there," Kelsi said.
"I thought that over time people would forget or they'd stop talking about it or stop looking, but that hasn't been the case at all.
"People still continue to come and support us and share this information and it's just amazing. The outpour of support – it's just so encouraging."
Part of the reason the case is still alive and active today, Kelsi believes, is because of the bravery shown by Libby in her final moments of life, when the teen mustered the courage to record a short clip of the man that police believe killed her.
The video shows a white male, dressed in faded jeans, a hoodie and a blue jacket, with his hands in his pockets, walking towards the eighth graders on a bridge.
Libby then slipped her phone into her pocket and continued recording. Chillingly, she captured her killer gruffly instructing the pair to go "down the hill."
"I'm tremendously proud of her," Kelsi told The Sun. "I don't think she imagined at the time it would be such a big thing.
"I think she was just taking a video to show us later and say, 'Hey, look at this really weird guy that was at the bridge earlier and this is what he looked like'.
"But the fact that she did take that video and she thought something wasn't right and she had to take it – it just amazes me.
"It just amazes me that she was able to think of that at that moment.
"I don’t know where the case would be if we didn't have that video," she added.
"I think that's one thing that intrigues people [about the case] to continue to look at it."
HUNTING FOR CLUES
Kelsi estimated that she has watched and listened to the clip "thousands of times." She claimed to watch it almost every day in the hope of discovering a new detail or jogging a repressed memory.
"I see it all over, every day. I'll just be scrolling through my social media and people will post it back to me and I'll watch it again every time," Kelsi said.
"I just keep listening, and every time I do, I just know that's the person that did such awful things – or a thing – to my sister.
"And it's so sad that we just know the voice, but we don't know the face and we don't have any answers yet."
Kelsi added: "So I just continue to listen to it and hope that someday I'll recognize that person or I'll meet somebody and I'll know that voice and then I'll be like, 'That's him; that's the person in the video.'"
Police, like Kelsi, have previously suggested that Libby and Abby's killer may live locally.
During a press conference in 2019, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter even went as far as to say the killer could be sat in the room with them.
"Directly to the killer, who may be in this room: We believe you’re hiding in plain sight," Carter said. "We've likely interviewed you or someone close to you.
"We also believe this person is from Delphi — currently or has previously lived here, visits Delphi on a regular basis, or works here," he added.
KILLER 'HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT'
Kelsi's belief the killer lives – or may have once lived – locally stems from the idea that the trail near to where the two girls' bodies were found is difficult to simply stumble across, she said.
"I've always thought that he has to know the area somehow," she said.
"I think that track is very hard to find if you don't know it's there already.
"So that's something I've also bought into," Kelsi continued, "that he's either from Delphi or that he's spent a lot of time here."
Kelsi said she has long struggled with the notion that her sister's killer could be lurking in the community around her.
She said she's terrified by the idea that she may have encountered the culprit on the street or served him as a customer at her work.
"I think this person could be anyone," she said. "Obviously at this point, it could have been somebody else I was familiar with at one point in my life.
"Maybe I just met him at Dairy Queen where I was at work one day and he came in and ordered a chocolate milkshake but I haven't remembered his voice yet for whatever reason.
"I could have met him, but we don't know and we don't know that it didn't happen either, which is terrifying.
"I could've walked past him on my college campus, or in the grocery store, or he could be sitting next to me in psych class.
"He could be working with people that I know or walking past me when I'm looking at Christmas lights.
"He could be right there in front of us and we have no idea. It's a frightening thought."
Police have never formally named a suspect in the murders of Libby and Abby, though several people have been questioned in regards to the killing.
In a rare update issued earlier this month, Indiana State Police said they were seeking information about a bogus social media profile, called anthony_shots, that may be linked to the case.
The department asked anyone who interacted with the account on Snapchat or Instagram to come forward for information.
Investigators didn't specify why they believe the account may be linked to the girls' deaths, nor disclosed whether either Libby or Abby had interacted with the account.
However, they did say the culprit behind it used stolen images of a known male model and projected a contrived flashy lifestyle to groom underage girls and "solicit nude images, obtain their addresses, and attempt to meet them."
The man who set up that account has since been identified as Kegan Anthony Kline, a 27-year-old from Peru, Indiana, who last year was arrested for 30 felonies, including possession of child porn, exploitation of children, and soliciting minors for sex.
Those charges stem from a search of his home in Peru, Indiana on February 25th, 2017 – just 11 days after the bodies of Libby and Abby were found in Delphi.
According to an affidavit, Kline admitted to investigators that he used a series of fake social media profiles on Instagram and Snapchat to contact underage girls and solicit nude images from them.
One of those accounts was anthony_shots, which he set up in 2016 around six months before his house was raided.
It's unclear whether Kline is currently being investigated as a suspect in the relation to the Delphi murders, or why it took more than three years to arrest him on the child porn charges.
In a statement released last week, the department said such questions are "certainly relevant" but declined to comment further.
"During the last nearly five years, we have conducted dozens of secondary investigations based on information we received. One of those investigations included a Possession of Child Pornography case resulting in the arrest of Kegan Kline.
"The information we had, have, and continue to receive concerning Kline has ebbed and flowed over these last few years."
The statement continued: "We know there is enormous interest in the 'WHY' of everything we do, but we cannot and will not speculate. One day you will have the opportunity to see and know what we do, and we look forward to that day.”
As an investigation continues, Kelsi said she believes police are getting closer each day to obtaining justice for Abby and Libby, the latter of whom she remembered as a funny, caring, and tenacious younger sister.
"She was the funniest person ever," Kelsi remembered of her 14-year-old sibling.
"She loved making people laugh and making people smile and just being there for people.
"I remember her telling me once that she just felt like she was everybody's therapist, but that's because everybody was just so open to coming to her and talking to her about whatever they were feeling and she was always so good at making you feel like you were worth it."
Kelsi said she believes her sister was so charismatic that she doesn't think she "knew a stranger."
"She had so many friends, and as time goes on, I still have people who went to school with her come to me and say, 'Hey, I don't think I ever told you the story, but your sister was there for me when I felt like I had no one else.'
"And that just always amazes me and brightens my day that she would she got to be there for so many people," Kelsi said.
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