The story of the little girls who were murdered at Delphi remains as mystifying as it is tragic.
How can it be that national news coverage and a quarter-million dollar reward hasn’t produced any suspects?
What it should have been done, though, is to raise awareness about the dangers of walking without protection in remote areas.
The photo of that abandoned rail bridge in Carroll County will be etched into our memories for a long time. So will that haunting photo of a man and the recording of him saying, “down the hill,” which may have been the last words the girls heard.
I remember another murder that took place on a trail in daylight. It was in Kentucky, not far from where we lived at the time.
A woman was killed while walking on a trail through a city park. She should have been safe but she wasn’t.
In the mid-1990s a trail was proposed for Montgomery County, Indiana.
I was the news director for the local radio stations at the time and one day I was interviewing a person who worked for the city’s parks and recreation department.
She was doing a live interview on the radio to promote the idea of building the trail along an abandoned railway bed that wound through the countryside.
It was to be a “feel good” type of story about something neat being built that would not only benefit local residents but would potentially bring added commerce.
One of the last questions I asked was about security on the trail.
I thought about the woman who was killed in Kentucky but I was sure that in Montgomery County, Indiana, plans had been made for cameras, police patrols and other means of keeping the people safe who walked and bicycled on the trail.
My interview guest deftly blew off the question and the show came to an end.
Almost immediately, the telephone began ringing in my office.
On the phone was Jerry Howard, a property owner along the proposed trail, who did not want the trail to be built.
I did not know Jerry when he first called but over the next several months I would get to know him and his opponents, people who wanted the trail. I would spend a lot of time with all of them.
Just as proponents of the trail had told people how great trails had been in other communities, Howard was amassing stories from property owners about crime associated with the trails.
Over the next several months there was much wrangling in public and in the courts about the proposed trail. It was a sad time filled with anger.
Eventually, the matter was settled and today people enjoy the Sugar Creek Trail in Montgomery County. To my knowledge, there have been no serious crimes reported there.
However, that question of security of trails that run through remote areas has never quite been settled and it bothers me.