Alleged Child Molester Draws FBI's Attention For Resemblance To Delphi Snapchat Killer
Police say the Indiana man was nabbed in an undercover sting for planning to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.
RANDOLPH COUNTY, IN — The FBI and Indiana State Police are looking into the recent arrest of a man who strongly resembles the sketch of a suspect possibly responsible for killing two girls in early 2017.
Charles Eldridge, 46, was taken into custody on January 8 and is facing felony child-molestation and solicitation charges after he was nabbed in a sting operation.
Officials claim Eldridge began chatting with a 13-year-old girl on social media and organized a meeting in Union City for sex with the child, who was actually an undercover cop. Officers arrested him when he showed up for the illicit rendezvous at a pre-planned location.
During an interview at the Randolph County Jail, where Eldridge was being held without bond, he allegedly admitted he had engaged in multiple sex acts in the past with another pre-teen.
Eldridge’s arrest has created a stir in Delphi, an Indiana town about two and a half hours away from Union City, for his resemblance to the man who may have murdered local girls Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and 14-year-old Liberty Rose Lynn “Libby” German.
On February 13, 2017, the best friends went for a hike along an abandoned railway. Family reported the two missing shortly after they failed to show up for a prearranged pickup time. Tragically, the pair were found dead that Valentine’s Day.
During the initial homicide investigation, detectives discovered German had managed to use her phone to record a man’s voice commanding: “Down the hill.”
She also captured an image of the suspected murderer, a white male with reddish-brown hair who stands between 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs from 180 to 220 pounds.
Police have followed up on tens of thousands of tips in the case, and loved ones remain optimistic the killer will be found and prosecuted. "Every time something like this comes up, we hope and we pray and we hope and pray some more," Williams’ mother, Anna, has said.
WTHR-TV reported law-enforcement officials are looking into the new Eldridge lead but were careful to note he has not been named a person of interest in the Delphi murders.
Whether or not Eldridge is eventually linked to the girls' deaths, authorities are thankful he was caught before he could potentially do harm to more kids in the Union City area.
“This case shows a great example of why our investigators engage in this type of proactive policing,” said Randolph County Sheriff’s Department Captain Tom Pullins. “By conducting this online sting operation, our investigators were able to uncover an unreported molestation case that had already occurred.”
If you have any information that could help solve the murders of Abby Williams and Libby German, call the Delphi Homicide tip line at (844) 459-5786 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.