More than five years after two girls were killed in the small town of Delphi, Indiana, a 50-year-old man has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder.
Richard Allen was arrested and charged last week, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter announced in an emotional news conference on Monday. Allen is accused of killing 14-year-old Liberty “Libby” German and 13-year-old Abigail “Abby” Williams, who disappeared after being dropped off at a trailhead on Feb. 13, 2017. After a massive search in the town of about 3,000 people, their bodies were found in a wooded area nearly 24 hours later.
Allen has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond. A trial date has been set for March 20, 2023.
When Indiana State Police announced Friday that they’d have an “update” on the case Monday, it sparked a frenzy in the true crime community.
Amateur sleuths and local residents who had been following the case intently for the past five years spent the weekend posting a slew of information and speculation about Allen. Many were incredulous that no one had identified him despite his resemblance to a police sketch and video of the suspect.
Video of the suspect had been key evidence that police and investigators pored over for years. The girls’ last known location alive was a bridge where Libby had shared two photos on Snapchat. Police would later reveal that Libby had also recorded video of the suspect walking toward the girls on the bridge. Days later, investigators released two grainy stills of the suspect from video captured by Libby, along with eerie audio of a man saying "down the hill."
People reported on Feb. 27, 2017, “After reviewing evidence, [Carroll County Sheriff Tobe] Leazenby says it appears the girls initially took pictures for fun but later became uncomfortable and recorded the video as a way of ensuring evidence.”
Five months later, in July 2017, police released a composite sketch of the suspect that would become ubiquitous — for years, it could be seen plastered in storefronts throughout Delphi, in news stories about the girls’ killings, and on tens of thousands of social media posts and online message boards like Reddit. It was described as "an artist's composite of the information" collected by investigators from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Additional audio was later shared with the victims’ families, police said, which included Libby and Abby chatting about "stuff girls talk about" — and in which they also mention the man.
Police have been famously tight-lipped about the investigation from the outset, declining to reveal how the girls died and sharing very few details about the crime scene. And despite the suspect's arrest, they still refused to share that and other information Monday.
"The investigation is still ongoing," Carroll County prosecutor Nick McLeland said. "For that reason, the probable cause and evidence in the charging information will not be released." He later cited the "extra scrutiny" on this case and his desire for the prosecution "not to be tarnished or tainted" if the evidence is made public.
"Again, he's presumed innocent and so it was important for me in this case to do that," McLeland said.
At a news conference in April 2019, however, investigators played chilling video of the suspect approaching the girls on the bridge, along with a longer audio clip of him saying, “Guys…down the hill.” The inclusion of “guys” added significant context to the clip, as it further bolstered speculation that he was ordering them to walk to a more secluded area where he would kill them. At least one tabloid described it as a “death march.”
Indiana State Police also in 2019 released a second composite sketch, which was markedly different from the first. In fact, police said the sketches were of two different men, and that the original depicted a 40- to 50-year-old “person of interest” who was no longer considered a suspect. The man in the second sketch is much younger — in his 20s to late 30s, police said.
In May 2022, the Murder Sheet podcast obtained a copy of a March 2017 FBI warrant to search the home and property of the man who owned the land where the girls’ bodies were found. The FBI agent’s affidavit for the warrant, which was also posted by the local News & Review, includes details not previously shared with the public by investigators. For example, the affidavit states that “a large amount of blood was lost by the victims at the crime scene,” but the girls “had no visible signs of a struggle or a fight.” Furthermore, the affidavit says that the killer may have taken a “souvenir,” saying, “It was also discovered that the [redacted] of one of the victim’s was missing from the crime scene while the rest of their clothing was recovered. It also appeared the girls bodies were moved and staged.”
While the FBI agent identified the landowner, Ron Logan, as a suspect in the girls’ deaths, he was never arrested and died earlier this year. Meanwhile, another man connected to the case is in jail awaiting trial on 30 counts of child exploitation, possession of child sexual abuse images, and obstruction of justice. In a probable cause affidavit, police said the man, Kegan Kline, admitted to creating a fake online profile, "anthony_shots," to meet underage girls and receive explicit photos. According to a leaked transcript of a police interview with Kline, the account communicated with Libby before her death. Despite the connection, he has not been named as a suspect in the killings.
The reward for information leading to the identification of the girls’ killer topped $325,000 as of spring 2021, but Carter refused to say whether that factored into Friday's arrest.
Monday morning, a reporter asked McLeland how he felt after conducting a nearly six-year nationwide investigation “only to find your guy down the street from your office."
"That's a hard question to answer — it's mixed emotions," McLeland said, admitting that "it's concerning that he's a local guy."
"It's bittersweet," he said. "It's a step in the right direction."
“We believe you are hiding in plain sight,” Carter said at the April 2019 news conference, directly addressing the suspect. If Allen is convicted, it would seem Carter was right.