Former resident a person of interest in Delphi murders

A man being investigated by Indiana State Police, who continue to work to solve the murders of two Delphi teens, has been brought back to Johnson County from Colorado to face local charges.

Daniel J. Nations, 32, was brought to the Johnson County jail on Sunday morning to face criminal charges from when he previously lived here. Nations was booked into the jail on two counts of failure to appear in court, and one count of failure to register as a sex offender.

He had been arrested in Colorado in September on a weapons possession charge. At the time, police had been called because the vehicle Nations was driving matched the vehicle listed in complaints from people who reported that a man had been bothering them during an earlier weekend near a hiking trail. Police also received reports of a man threatening people with a hatchet.

Information about Nations’ arrest was sent to Indiana State Police, which is continuing to investigate the murders of two teenage girls last year in Delphi. Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14, were reported missing Feb. 13. German and Williams were dropped off near the Monon High Bridge Trail near Delphi to go hiking. When a family member came to pick them up, they weren’t there. Search volunteers discovered the girls’ bodies near the Delphi Historic Trail on Feb. 14.

At the time, state police said investigators were aware of Nations and were looking into him.

Nations was brought back to Johnson County this weekend, where he faces a charge of failure to register as a sex offender and failure to appear, along with misdemeanor charges in Greenwood City Court of driving while suspended and possession of paraphernalia, according to court records. He has previously lived in Greenwood, Indianapolis and Martinsville and has been homeless.

Nations was required to register as a sex offender after he was convicted of indecent exposure. Police in South Carolina said he exposed himself and touched himself in front of a woman in a store parking lot in 2007, according to the sex and violent offender registry.

Last year, he registered with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office that he was living in a hotel on Main Street in Greenwood. But in May, Nations moved out of the hotel and didn’t tell the sheriff’s office, and he was charged with a felony count of failing to register as a sex offender, according to the court filing. He also is wanted for not appearing in court in Johnson County, according to the registry.

In April, Nations was arrested after a traffic stop in Greenwood on a charge of driving while suspended and possession of paraphernalia. Nations did not show up for an initial hearing in July, court records said.

Nations also has previous arrests in Johnson County, including a charge of possession of marijuana during a traffic stop in March 2015. Nations entered the pretrial diversion program, where a charge will be dropped if the offender meets certain requirements. But Nations failed to show for a compliance hearing last year, and a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to court records.

He also has a criminal record in Bartholomew County and Morgan County, and had a warrant out for his arrest in Marion County on drug and vehicle-related charges.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.