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Local man Richard Allen charged with Delphi murders of Libby German and Abby Williams

Law enforcement refused to reveal what led to arrest 2,086 days on from the murders – but would not rule out the possibility that other people were also involved in the deaths of Libby German, 14, and Abby Williams, 13

Rachel Sharp
Monday 31 October 2022 20:22 GMT
Delphi murders: Man arrested in connection with 2017 murder of two Indiana schoolgirls

A 50-year-old local man has finally been charged with the 2017 Delphi murders – marking the first step towards justice for teenage best friends Libby German and Abby Williams who were brutally killed more than five years ago.

Indiana State Police announced at a press conference on Monday morning that Richard Matthew Allen, a local Delphi man and married father to an adult daughter, was charged with two counts of murder on Friday.

Mr Allen, 50, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held without bond. A pre-trial hearing has been preliminarily scheduled for January with a trial date set for March.

“I am proud to say that today – actually last Friday – that today is the day. An arrest has been made,” said Doug Carter, superintendent of Indiana State Police.

However, Supt Carter added that “today is not a day to celebrate” as Libby and Abby’s families are still forced to go on without them.

Officials would not rule out the possibility that other individuals were also involved in the teenagers’ brutal murders and, if so, vowed that they will also face charges.

“If any other person had any involvement in the murders in any way, that person will be held accountable,” said Supt Carter.

Members of the public were urged to continue to submit tips – not only about Mr Allen but about any other information regarding the case.

Law enforcement refused to provide details about what led to Mr Allen’s arrest a staggering 2,086 days on from the murders.

For the past five years, police have been tightlipped about how the victims were killed and the nature of the crime scene.

In Monday’s press conference, no further information was given about the deaths or the investigation, and the probable cause affidavit for Mr Allen has been sealed.

Richard Allen pictured in mugshot after arrest for Delphi murders (Indiana State Police)

Authorities said that they don’t want to jeopardise the ongoing investigation, with Mr Carter saying: “Today is not that day.”

Officials also refused to confirm whether or not Mr Allen was cooperating with the investigation. A source previously told News8 that the 50-year-old has been refusing to cooperate since his arrest.

Mr Allen was taken into custody on Wednesday (26 October) and booked into Carroll County Jail.

On Friday, he was formally charged with Libby and Abby’s murders and was moved to the White County Jail, reportedly for his own safety.

His arrest first came to light on Friday, when officials said there had been a “major development” in the case.

Mr Allen appears to have no prior criminal record though jail records list him as also going by the alias of Craigh Ross Rentfrow.

As a married pharmaceutical technician who worked at the local CVS store, local residents expressed their shock over his arrest, saying that he always seemed “just like a normal guy”.

Libby German and Abby Williams were killed in February 2017 (AP)

Before his sudden arrest, Mr Allen’s name had never before been publicly linked to the case which has rocked the close-knit Delphi community and gone unsolved for more than half a decade.

Back on 13 February 2017, Libby, 14, and Abby, 13, set off on a hike along the Monon High Bridge Trail in their hometown.

During the walk, Libby posted a photo on Snapchat of her best friend walking along the Monon High Bridge. It was the last known photo of Abby before she was killed.

Later that day, the teenagers were reported missing when they failed to meet a family member who had arranged to pick them up.

The following day – Valentine’s Day 2017 – their bodies were discovered in a wooded area around half a mile off the trail.

Over the next five years, no arrests were ever made.

A 2017 search warrant application, which surfaced earlier this year, revealed that the victims were killed with some sort of weapon and lost “a lot” of blood – meaning the assailant would have been covered in their blood following the attack.

Libby and Abby were believed to have been killed in another location before the murderer moved their bodies and “staged” them at the crime scene. The killer was also believed to have taken some sort of souvenir.

Libby German posted a Snapchat as the girls walked along the trail (Snapchat)

Investigators have long tried to identify a man that Libby managed to capture on her cellphone before she died.

In the grainy video, the broad-set man is seen dressed in blue jeans, a blue jacket and a cap walking along the abandoned railroad bridge.

Investigators released a still image from the video and a chilling audio of the man telling the two girls: “Go down the hill.”

The teenage victims were praised by law enforcement for capturing the crucial evidence before their slayings and the video was used to create and circulate police sketches of the murder suspect – one in 2017 and one in 2019.

Mr Allen appears to bear some resemblance to the sketches.

It has now emerged that the man accused of murdering the two teenagers brazenly posed for a smiling selfie in front of one of the police sketches.

In a chilling photo, posted by Mr Allen’s wife Kathy on Facebook in December 2021, Mr Allen is seen smiling alongside his wife in a local bar in Delphi. On the wall behind him is the 2019 police sketch.

This grainy image was taken on Libby’s phone on the trail the day the girls went missing. Investigators believe the man is the killer (Indiana State Police)

The disturbing selfie of Mr Allen had been posted the same month that investigators issued a fresh appeal urging members of the public to come forward with information about an online catfishing account thought to be tied to the murders.

In what was one of the biggest updates in the case to date, Indiana State Police announced that officials had “uncovered” a fake online profile called @anthony_shots which had been used to communicate with at least one of the victims around the time of their deaths.

The profile was used from 2016 to 2017 on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram and used photos of a known young male model – who has no ties to the account or the case.

Investigators said the person behind the account was Kegan Anthony Kline, 27-year-old man with addresses in Kokomo and Peru, close to Delphi.

Kline admitted to authorities that he used the account to groom underage girls online and get them to send nude photos and their addresses and try to get them to meet him. He allegedly admitted to receiving about 100 sexual photos and about 20 sexually explicit videos from around 15 underage girls.

Kline was arrested on 30 felony charges including child sexual abuse images and child exploitation in 2020.

According to an affidavit, Indiana State Police and the FBI had executed a search warrant at his home in Peru on 25 February 2017 - less than two weeks after Abby and Libby were murdered.

Kline denied any knowledge or involvement in the two teenagers’ deaths and he has not been charged in the case.

However, the account remained of interest to investigators who urged anyone who had communicated with, met, or attempted to meet the individual posing as @anthony_shots to come forward with information.

It is not clear if the account is in any way connected to the arrest and charging of Mr Allen.

Richard Allen is seen posing in front of a police sketch of the killer (Supplied)

Prior to this, police had zeroed in on local man Ronald Logan, according to a search warrant application filed in 2017 before being obtained by podcast The Murder Sheet and shared with The Independent this May.

The partly redacted document reveals law enforcement wanted to search Mr Logan’s home which was just 1,400 feet from where the girls’ bodies were found.

Mr Logan had allegedly lied about where he was at the time that the teenagers disappeared, claiming he was out of the area with a friend when cellphone location data actually placed him in the area around the trail.

Mr Logan was never charged and he died in 2020.

News of Mr Allen’s arrest – the first ever made in connection to the case – was hailed by members of Libby’s family, with her grandmother Becky Patty and sister Kelsi German both sharing social media posts on Friday saying “today is the day”.

On Saturday, Ms Patty shared a heartbreaking Facebook post where she said that her family now has a “very difficult path” ahead of them and questioned: “Where do we go from here?”

“I guess I am kind of at a loss. Every morning I get up - get my coffee - and start looking for which photo will be the today is the day post,” she said.

“Now I sit here not needing to do it because at long last we have a face to go with our monster. I sit here wondering - now what. Where do we go from here? I realize our lives have again made a big change - we have a very difficult path to start down.

“It is a path we will gladly face as we know each step taken is one step closer to our monster being convicted. Knowing that makes that walk so much easier.”

Libby German (left) and Abby Williams (right) pictured together (Facebook)

Ms Patty went on to thank people for their support after the case rumbled on for more than half a decade with no one held accountable for the murders of her granddaughter and her best friend.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported and prayed for our girls daily for 51/2 years - who never gave up!” she said.

“Who grew to love them. I know they are smiling down on the world today knowing it is now a little bit safer. Thank you.”

Back in December, Ms Patty told The Independent that she was no longer getting her “hopes up” with each development in case after so many leads had gone cold over the years.

“We’ve had so many things that have come up that we don’t get our hopes up,” she said at the time.

“We’re going to wait and let the police do their jobs.”

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