DELPHI, Ind. (CBS) – The grandfather of one of the two teenage girls murdered in Delphi, Indiana last month spoke publicly Thursday morning for the first time since the bodies were found in a wooded area.

The development comes as authorities continue to follow up on thousands of tips in the case. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

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The grandfather of 14-year-old Liberty German pleaded for anyone who knows anything about his granddaughter’s murder to come forward.

“This horrible crime has torn a hole that will never heal,” said Matt Patty, Liberty German’s grandfather.

German and her 13-year-old friend, Abigail Williams disappeared last month while hiking in Delphi, Indiana. Their bodies were found a day later about a half a mile away in a wooded area.

Authorities released a photo of a suspect in the case. Police said German captured the image on her cellphone before she was killed and also recorded a snippet of audio of a male saying “down the hill” that may be connected to the murders.

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Police say this man was on an Indiana trail around the time that two girls were; the teen were later found dead. (Indiana State Police)

“I’m glad she had the wherewithal to do it,” Patty said. “Hopefully it will be the vital piece.”

Patty said the two good friends loved softball and were looking forward to playing this spring.

“Just a day before, they had their equipment out to hone their skills for their upcoming season,” Patty said.

Indiana State Police said they have received more than 11,000 tips.

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The reward in the case is now more than $220,000.