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Indiana police investigating new lead in cold case murder of two teens

Some have said that the mugshot of Charles Andrew Eldridge, who was arrested on charges unrelated to the murders, looks like a police sketch of a suspect.

Police in Indiana are investigating a possible new lead in a nearly two-year-old cold case murder after a man was arrested on unrelated charges.

Charles Andrew Eldridge, 46, was arrested Jan. 8 on child molestation charges after messaging with an officer posing as a child, according to Randolph County Sheriff Art Moystner. That arrest has no connection to any murder, according to police.

But many who have seen Eldridge's mugshot have said he bears a resemblance to a police sketch of a suspect in the February 2017 murders of Abigail J. Williams, 13, and Liberty Rose Lynn German, 14, in Delphi, Indiana.

On Sunday, Indiana State Police said they were aware of the arrest and investigating "to see if there could be any connection to the murders that occurred in Delphi, Indiana on February 14th of 2017," adding that every tip that comes in to the department is investigated.

The Randolph County Sheriff's Department had earlier said Eldridge did not have any connection to the cold case murders.

"Outside of the person resembling the sketch, there is currently zero evidence that ties him to this case and he is not a suspect in the case," the department said in a statement.

Because there have been thousands of tips since the girls disappeared, the families Abigail and Liberty said they weren't getting their hopes up.

"Until we know that this is the guy, we're not saying it's the guy, and we're still looking for the guy, so that's where we are at right now," Abigail's mother Anna Williams said.

Mike Patty, Liberty's grandfather, said was optimistic that this could be a new lead in the case.

Indiana State Police Peru post public information officer Tony Slocum talks during a news conference to provide the latest details of the investigation into the murders of Liberty German and Abigail Williams on Feb. 22, 2017.J. Kyle Keener / AP

"Once we get that phone call that, 'Hey, we've made an arrest and we're confirmed,' then I guess, maybe a celebration ain't the right word, but a sense of relief that this guy's been taken off of our streets," Patty said.

Little evidence has turned up in since the teens disappeared. A grainy photo exists of a man with reddish-brown hair in the area where the girls disappeared. That man is believed to be a suspect in the murders.

An audio recording from one of the girls' cell phones revealed what police believe to be the suspect's voice saying, "down the hill."

But in the time since the teens disappeared, little else has turned up.

"It is sad. Nobody even here thought we would still be looking for somebody in two years in a town this size but we are," Anna Williams said.