Mysterious Insta Profile Emerges in Probe of Teen Hikers’ Slayings

·5 min read
FBI
FBI

Detectives investigating the 2017 slayings of two Indiana teens have zeroed in on a mysterious social media profile they believe may be connected to the unsolved double murder.

“While investigating the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German, detectives with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana State Police have uncovered an online profile named anthony_shots,” the Indiana State Police announced Monday night.

“This profile was being used from 2016 to 2017 on social media applications, including but not limited to, Snapchat and Instagram. The fictitious anthony_shots profile used images of a known male model and portrayed himself as being extremely wealthy and owning numerous sports cars. The creator of the fictitious profile used this information while communicating with juvenile females to solicit nude images, obtain their addresses, and attempt to meet them.”

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Someone calling themselves “anthony_shots” masqueraded as this person to communicate online with young girls, say police. </p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Instagram, via Indiana State Police</div>

Someone calling themselves “anthony_shots” masqueraded as this person to communicate online with young girls, say police.

Instagram, via Indiana State Police

“new account, follow me 😋 Alaska born, Indiana raised,” the profile reads. “Travel living. LA NY business travel. ✈️.”

On the afternoon of Feb. 13, 2017, Williams, 13, and German, 14, set off from the Monon High Bridge, an abandoned railroad trestle that makes up part of Delphi, Indiana’s extensive historic trail system, for a hike. When they didn’t return to the trailhead a few hours later to be picked up as planned, their families reported the pair missing. At first, cops didn’t suspect foul play. But when the eighth-graders’ bodies were discovered the next day about a half-mile from the bridge, police launched a criminal investigation.

Investigators released a still image from a video found on German’s smartphone of an unidentified man—who was subsequently named as a suspect—walking on the bridge. Police later released audio of the man telling the two girls, “Guys…down the hill.” The suspect was described by authorities as a white male between the ages of 18 and 40, standing between 5’ 6” and 5’ 10” and weighing between 180 and 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket, and a hoodie. Nearly 30,000 tips have been fielded by detectives, but no arrests have yet been made. Police have never revealed how the two died.

German’s grandmother, Becky Patty, told The Daily Beast that the killings have affected the family deeply.

“Our life has been on hold for five years,” she said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

The young man seen in the now-private anthony_shots profile has been identified and is not a person of interest in the investigation, according to detectives, who say they are seeking information about the person who created the phony profile.

The Daily Beast tracked down the real person—and sometime model—pictured in the anthony_shots account, who lives in Ketchikan, Alaska and works as a police officer. There was no answer Tuesday morning at a phone number listed under his actual name, and an email seeking comment bounced back as undeliverable.

Investigators are asking anyone who has “communicated with, met, or attempted to meet the anthony_shots profile” to contact police at abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com or 765-822-3535. They are seeking as much information as possible, including “saved images or conversations with the anthony_shots profile.”

In 2019, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said police believe the suspect “is from Delphi—currently or has previously lived here, visits Delphi on a regular basis or works here.”

The anthony_shots profile itself was created by 27-year-old Kegan Anthony Kline of Peru, Indiana, according to court filings in an unrelated case. An August 2020 probable cause affidavit reviewed by The Daily Beast states that Kline—who is currently detained while awaiting trial on charges of child solicitation, child exploitation, possession of child pornography, identity fraud, and obstruction of justice—admitted to having been in contact with numerous underage girls on Instagram and Snapchat, who sent him more than 100 sexually explicit photos and videos.

Indiana State Police and the FBI conducted a search of Kline’s home on Feb. 25, 2017, 11 days after Williams’ and German’s bodies were found. Under questioning by investigators, Kline “stated if a girl told him she was 16 or under he wouldn’t care and would still talk to them,” the affidavit says, noting that Kline’s alleged victims ranged in age from 15 to 17. However, the heavily redacted filing does not link Kline to the Delphi case.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Kegan Anthony Kline.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Miami County Jail</div>

Kegan Anthony Kline.

Miami County Jail

In a statement to local NBC affiliate WTHR on Tuesday, Kline’s public defender, Andrew Achey, said that “My client had nothing to do with the unexpected, untimely and unfortunate passing of the girls in Delphi.”

Kline, whose Facebook profile says he has worked as a Las Vegas casino dealer, is due in court on Dec. 16 for a pretrial conference, according to state court records.

Patty is hopeful that the renewed focus on the murders of her granddaughter and her friend could finally lead to a break in the case.

“It’s a good thing, it gives us hope,” she told The Daily Beast. “Our request is for everybody to share this information, the police are wanting to talk to anybody who has talked to this profile. Because they all don’t know who this person has talked to. We just need people to be aware and contact the police and give them the information they need.”

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