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The mugshot of an Indiana man arrested on a host of child molestation charges has drawn comparisons to the sketch of the state's elusive Delphi murder suspect, but authorities investigating that 2017 mystery are urging caution.
On Jan. 8, Charles Eldridge, 46, of Union City, Indiana was arrested in an undercover sting. He allegedly not only attempted to have sex with a minor but he admitted to molesting a child under 13 on multiple occasions, according to WXIN in Indianapolis. He was charged with child molestation, attempted child molestation, and child solicitation.
While those charges are heinous enough, it’s Eldridge's mugshot and its likeness to a sketch of the Delphi murder suspect that has really made headlines.
The bodies of Abigail Williams, 13, and Liberty Rose Lynn German, 14, were found on a hiking trail in Delphi, Indiana on Valentine’s Day 2017. Both teens were reported missing one day earlier. Police have not released how the two girls were murdered, which has only increased the mystery surrounding the case.
No arrests have ever been made.
The multi-agency law enforcement team that has been investigating the murders confirmed that they are investigating Eldridge’s arrest for any possible links after receiving tips about his likeness to the existing Delphi suspect sketch, according to WTHR in Indianapolis. The Delphi Police Department along with state police are part of that team.
Despite the investigation into Eldridge, law enforcement is making it clear that this situation is not that uncommon.
Indiana State Police told WTHR that "many similar tips and arrests of other persons alleged to be connected to the Delphi murders occur with some frequency in and outside of Indiana."
Indiana State Police information officer Dave Bursten urged people not to speculate.
“We know it’s hard for the public and media to resist posting side-by-side comparisons on social media of people who are alleged to have committed heinous crimes and also resemble the sketch of the Delphi murder suspect," he said in a release published by WNDU-TV in South Bend, Indiana. “The only positive result from these actions is it keeps this open investigation in the mind of the public."
“I can promise you this, when an arrest is made of a suspect identified by the multi-agency investigative team as the alleged perpetrator of the Delphi Murders, rest assured, we will let everyone know.”
Although police are investigating Eldridge, he has not been officially linked to any crimes other than the molestation and solicitation charges stemming from his arrest last week.
Anyone with tips can email them to Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com or call the tip line at 844-459-5786.
[Photo: Randolph County Sheriff's Department, FBI]
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