A sign marks 20 acres of what will become Abby & Libby Memorial Park, near the corner of the Hoosier Heartland Highway and Indiana 218, a mile north of Delphi, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. The park will be a memorial to Abby Williams and Libby German, two Delphi eighth-graders murdered while hiking a popular community trail near Delphi on Feb. 13, 2017. (Photo: Dave Bangert/Journal & Courier)
A sign marks 20 acres of what will become Abby & Libby Memorial Park, near the corner of the Hoosier Heartland Highway and Indiana 218, a mile north of Delphi, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. The park will be a memorial to Abby Williams and Libby German, two Delphi eighth-graders murdered while hiking a popular community trail near Delphi on Feb. 13, 2017. (Photo: Dave Bangert/Journal & Courier)
DELPHI – When Rob Cochran swung by the corner of the Hoosier Heartland Highway and Indiana 218 on Thursday, the 20 muddy acres laid out for the Abby & Libby Memorial Park wasn’t nearly as far along as he hoped it would be when Milestone Contractors dropped off equipment early the week before.

Rain did give way enough during about five of those days that volunteers from Milestone and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 103 out of Kokomo could put a bulldozer, a grader and two scrapers out into the thick dirt.

“For a lot of it, we were spinning our wheels,” Cochran, general superintendent with Milestone, said. “I was just up there, and there’s so much more work to be done. The conditions haven’t been the best.”

Milestone has done enough road construction in Delphi, including around the Carroll County Courthouse, that Cochran said the company, with offices about 17 miles away in Lafayette, considers Delphi “a Milestone town.” And like anyone who considers Delphi home, everyone at Milestone was well invested in what happened to Abby Williams and Libby German in February 2017.

“It was so terrible,” Cochran said. The double murders on Delphi’s Monon High Bridge Trail remain unsolved. “We thought about contributing to the reward money, but everybody can give a dollar. But what can we do that other companies maybe can’t do?”

What Milestone could do turned into one of those big moments for Abby and Libby Memorial Park, since Mike and Becky Patty, Libby German’s grandparents, hatched the idea for a park in the months after the girls were killed.

Leveling the acreage early this spring would leave the summer and into the fall to recruit help to run underground electrical lines and everything else needed to get closer on a $1 million project looking to come together with hands-on muscle from family, friends and obliging businesses that could cut away from other work.

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