I've been wondering if someone would post about this. It's of great interest to me, first in that I used to live nearby, and secondly, in that it seems so absolutely creepy to me that the victim was able to photograph and even record her killer. I suppose things like that are probably to be expected these days, given the ubiquity of smart phones, but it jars with my unexamined assumptions about the world. I'm getting old.
Anyway, onward to the subject:
He's wearing a brown or perhaps camouflage hoodie like a hunter might wear. You can see the bottom of it sticking out of his jacket. I don't think his hair is visible at all. He's got something in his right jacket pocket that I think may well be a semi-automatic pistol, carried handle down and butt forward. Having spent some years living not too far from Delphi, I can say that it wouldn't necessarily be a remarkable thing for someone to carry on a hike, although most people would keep it safely in a holster on their belt, and it's rather less likely to be carried on a developed trail like this as well. It's more the sort of thing you might carry in the forest or fields. More on this in a bit.
His posture and overall bearing interests me as well. I have the impression that he's hurrying, and watching his step on the trestle as he goes. In the picture of Abby crossing the trestle, she has her head down in a very similar way, although she's obviously going more slowly. Why did he jink so abruptly to the left like that? To get away from the edge?
If he's also keeping his head down to avoid having his face clearly seen, then that suggests that he's aware of the possibility of being photographed, or alternately that he was known to the victims, and hoped to get as close as possible before being recognized. The other possibility is that it was a pre-arranged meeting, and the waiting victim just idly photographed him as he approached, as people sometimes do. His hurrying, if that's what he's doing, could support either hypothesis - that he was hustling along trying to close on his victims, or that he was late to the rendezvous. More on this too in a bit.
They began their hike at 1pm - pickup was scheduled for 5:30. I suspect that reflects the work schedule of the parent who gave them the ride to and from the trailhead, although it certainly leaves them time to meet someone if that formed part of their plan for the day.
The trail is 1.44 miles long, and technically ends at the entrance to the bridge, although one supposes that most people can't resist crossing the bridge. The photo of the bridge, and of Abby Williams on the bridge, was apparently uploaded to Snapchat at around 2pm. That was taken from the south side of the bridge - you can tell by the angle of the sun, and also by the "end of trail" sign visible at the far (north) end. Having reached the end of the trail, one must turn around, and retrace one's path to the trailhead. The far end doesn't connect to anything. It's essentially a trail to go look at the bridge.
Some people think that they can see the suspect in the picture of Abby crossing the trestle, standing on the north bank of the creek, partially concealed behind the prominent whitish (birch?) tree that can be seen on the east (right) side of the trestle, about halfway between the girl and the little platform jutting off the bridge. I tend to believe this myself. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b045cd34bf7443
shows what people are seeing.
that's the case, then my hypothesis is that it was a crime of opportunity. The murderer was out walking in the woods, having possibly reached the woods by the trail, and saw the two unaccompanied girls crossing the bridge, ending their hike, and beginning their return. He hurried to the north end, perhaps concealing himself until they got closer. Even in its very severely cropped state (does anyone have a full-frame version of this picture?), you can tell that the suspect is just entering the northern end of the bridge, and judging by the quality of the picture, the girls were still about the middle. He hurried, I'm guessing, to intercept them while the bridge was still too high to jump from. The bodies were found on the northern bank of the creek, so after accosting them on the bridge, he marched them back to the north end, then along the bank to where they were murdered. I suspect that he had a certain location for the murder in mind, either from being a local, or else from having just walked that portion of the woods.
I honestly expected the fellow to be rapidly caught, since he was careless enough to be photographed and recorded, and apparently didn't even bother to take or destroy the victims' phones. He's either extremely confident in what he's doing, and knows what he can get away with, or else just a lucky bungler. I hope for the latter, but I fear the former.