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Authorities have arrested an Indiana man after he allegedly lured a 9-year-old to his home to abuse her, and they're also looking into possible connections to the area's infamous Delphi Murders.
James Brian Chadwell II allegedly lured the victim into his Lafayette home on April 19 by inviting her to pet his dogs, local outlet WTHR reports. The child, his neighbor, was reported missing.
As her family and authorities scrambled to find her, Chadwell allegedly beat and sexually assaulted the child, Indiana’s Journal & Courier reports. Lafayette police officers allegedly discovered the child locked in his basement and suspect he was planning on killing her.
The department has not immediately returned Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
Tippecanoe County Prosecutors have charged Chadwell with attempted murder, child molesting, attempted child molesting, kidnapping, criminal confinement, battery resulting in serious bodily injury and strangulation. Chadwell is also apparently a habitual offender, which has led to prosecutors charging him with such, which could bring up to two additional decades behind bars if he's convicted.
The girl suffered bruising on her body and a dog bite on her leg, authorities said.
As a result of his arrest, the internet has been abuzz with speculation that he resembles a sketch of the suspect from the Delphi Murders, the 2017 killings of Indiana eighth-graders Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13.
The girls were found dead on Valentine’s Day of that year after going missing the previous day while hiking on the Delphi Historic Trails during a day off from school. Their bodies were found about a half-mile off the hiking trail. Their case has never been solved. Authorities have released video and an audio recording of a suspect found on German's phone, as well as sketches of a potential suspect. Reddit users have pondered if Chadwell could be a viable suspect.
"The information has obviously been shared with us, and our investigators are looking into him," Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby told the Journal & Courier. His office has not immediately returned an information request from Oxygen.com.
German’s sister Kelsi German, who has become a vocal advocate for the case, tweeted on Tuesday, “I will NOT be sharing any articles related to people being looked in to unless Law Enforcement is on board with those articles being shared.”
She added, “Imagine, if every time someone sent me a picture or a name of a person I got my hopes up thinking that could be him. I’d still be sitting here heartbroken but with no hope left and even more devastated.”
Chadwell is currently being held on a $50,000 cash bond. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer.
An anonymous donor has recently given $100,000 to assist the investigation of the Delphi Murders.
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