A man on the list of possible suspects in connection with the 2017 murder of two young Indiana girls killed himself last month during a police standoff.
Journal & Courier reports that 55-year-old Paul Etter fatally shot himself on June 27 while surrounded by authorities in Lebanon, Indiana. Police suspected Eller of taking a 26-year-old woman by force and raping her on June 22, on his family’s farm in Tippecanoe County.
Etter later released the victim, according to police, then managed to evade police for five days before being cornered close to Tippecanoe County Road 750 East.
“Through the conversation, his demeanor, he had his mind made up as to how it was going to end,” Lt. Ben Phelps, Lebanon police spokesman, said last month. “We tried everything we could to provide some resources and resolve it peacefully but unfortunately, he had his mind made up.”
According to Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby, Etter’s name came up previously during investigations of the murders of 14-year-old Liberty “Libby” German and 13-year-old Abigail “Abby” Williams. Both girls were found deceased in February 2017, close to the Monon High Bridge in Delphi County, after they went out for a hike together.
“His name has come up through the process,” Leazenby said on Friday.
According to WLFI 18 News, authorities will continue to investigate Etter, including his possible involvement in the Delphi murders, despite his death.
Tippecanoe County Sheriff Bob Goldsmith said investigators are trying to figure out where Etter hid for nearly six days while police searched for him, including the places he visited, who he talked to, and where he slept each night. Authorities said Etter somehow managed to stay active on social media while police continued to search for him.
Anyone with information about the Delphi murders should call the Delphi Homicide Investigation Tip Line at 844-459-5786; the Indiana State Police at 800-382-7537; or the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department at 765-564-2413. Emailed tips should be sent to Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.
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Visit the Indiana State Police official Delphi Homicide Investigation site for additional information on the case and more details on the suspect.
[Feature Photo: Abby Williams and Libby German/Handout]