Indiana Teen’s Family Tempering Their Hopes After Possible Lead in Mysterious Double Slayings

The family of 14-year-old Liberty German is tempering its expectations after authorities announced a man arrested in Colorado this week may be linked to her February killing.

“It would be wonderful if they called us and said, ‘This is it,’ ” Becky Patty, Liberty’s grandmother, tells PEOPLE. “We could put this chapter behind us and move on to the next. But we’re just stuck in this limbo.”

Patty continues, “There’s a potential that this guy could be innocent of this crime.”

She adds, “I don’t let my mind go there so much because it’s hard. It’s hard to let your mind go there that this could be him.”

In February, Liberty, who went by Libby, was found slain near a Delphi, Indiana, creek along with her best friend, Abigail Williams, after being reported missing a day earlier. No arrests have been made in the case.

Now, Indiana police have announced that a man who allegedly threatened people with a hatchet in Colorado may be linked to the killings.

On Monday, 31-year-old Daniel Nations, a registered sex offender, was arrested after he allegedly threatened a group near a Colorado trail where a man was killed just two weeks earlier, according to Colorado officials.

“Apparently there may be some similarities in some of the events that occurred out there,” Carroll County, Indiana, Sheriff Tobe Leazenby tells PEOPLE.

The vehicle Nations was driving had expired Indiana license plates, but Leazanby says law enforcement officials are not jumping to conclusions.

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Police released two photos of the suspect taken by Libby on her cellphone before she died, as well as a sketch of a man considered to be the “main suspect” in the killings. The photos appeared to show a white man dressed in light blue jeans and a blue jacket over a brown shirt.

During their initial investigation, police also learned that Libby managed to record a video moments before her death that includes audio of a man talking.

In the six-second clip, a man’s voice can be heard saying “down the hill.” (The clip can be heard here.)

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Nations remains behind bars in Teller County Jail and is charged with weapons possession by a previous offender, with additional charges pending, according to officials. It is unclear at this time whether he has obtained an attorney or has entered a plea.

Police urge anyone with possible tips to contact authorities. Tips can be made anonymously by email or telephone. Anyone with information should email ABBYANDLIBBYTIP@CACOSHRF.COM or call 844-459-5786.


PEOPLE.com

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