Daniel Nations, 31 (pictured), was arrested on Monday in Woodland Park, Colorado for allegedly menacing hikers on a trail with a hatchet earlier in the month
The man responsible for the murder of two teens in Indiana may have been found nearly 1,000 miles away in Colorado.
Daniel Nations, 31, was arrested on Monday for allegedly threatening hikers on a trail near Woodland Park, Colorado with a hatchet earlier this month.
Now local authorities say police in Indiana suspect the registered sex offender may be connected to the murders of two middle school friends in Delphi earlier this year.
The bodies of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, were found about a quarter-mile from a hiking trail in Delphi in February, a day after they planned to hike the trail on their day off from school and went missing.
At the time, police released two grainy pictures and an audio recording of the possible suspect taken from German’s phone, but they got no leads. The same happened in July, when they released a composite sketch of the suspect.
The Indiana State Police Department confirmed that they are investigating Nations as a potential suspect in the double murders, but refused to comment further.
Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Kim Riley said it’s too early to make a definite connection.
Authorities now say that they are investigating whether Nations may be connected to the double murder of two teens in Indiana earlier this year. Pictured above are the victims in that case, 13-year-old Abigail Williams (left) and 14-year-old Liberty German (right)
‘Please keep in mind the Indiana State Police has received more than a thousand photos of persons alleged to be similar in appearance to the composite sketch of the Delphi person of interest,’ Riley said in a statement. ‘Each and everyone of these tips are investigated for any potential connection to our case.
‘We will give the same attention to the person arrested in Colorado, but right now there is nothing that definitively connects this person to our investigation. If that should change — with this tip, or any other tip — rest assured we would be sharing such news with all media sources.’
Nations, who hails from Indianapolis, was identified as a suspect in the menacing case thanks to his car.
Williams and German went missing in February, when they planned to hike this trail on their day off from school. Their bodies were found the next day
Police have released a sketch of the possible suspect and a grainy photo of the possible suspect taken from one of the girl’s cellphones
Above, police officers near the scene where the girls’ bodies were found earlier this year
Around the same time that a man was threatening people with a hatchet near Mount Herman, a bicyclist, Tim Watkins, went missing and was later found shot dead.
Before the body was found, one of Watkins’ friends was aiding in the search when he noticed a man in a red car drive by the staging area several times. He found it suspicious so he took a picture.
Police then used the picture to track down the car, which they found parked outside Woodland Park Pawn and Loan Monday afternoon.
They saw a man and a woman get into the car and then pulled it over.
Inside was Daniel Nations, sitting in the passenger seat, his wife Katelyn driving and two kids in the backseat.
Katelyn thought they were being pulled over for a missing tail light and told the officers that she had broke it earlier in the day by backing into the tree.
Around the time that a man with a hatchet was menacing people on a trail near Mount Herman Road in Colorado, bicyclist Tim Watkins (left and right) was shot dead while on a ride near the trail
One of Watkins friends’ snapped this picture of a red car that circled around the scene a few times during the search
Police were able to connect that car to Nations. In the back of the car, they found a hatchet
Then officers questioned Daniel about the menacing incident on Mount Herman Road and he admitted that there was a hatchet in the back of the vehicle, but he claimed he was not connected to the case.
‘We’re not that kind of people,’ he told officers, according to the arrest affidavit.
He also admitted that his wife’s rifle was in the trunk, which she bought for protection after the vehicle was broken into.
After running background reports, officer realized that the husband and wife both had non-extraditable FTA warrants from other states and that Daniel was a registered sex offender and had a previous conviction for domestic violence in Indiana. Their license plates were also from Indiana and were expired.
Daniel was booked into the Teller County Jail on a charge of weapons possession by a previous offender. Other charges are pending. He is not currently a suspect in Watkins’ death. Daniel is being held on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on October 16.
Nations is a registered sex offender. He is seen above in two previous mugshots