A resident of a small Indiana town has been charged with a 2017 double murder that rocked the community.
Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and Liberty “Libby” German, 14, were killed in February 2017 after going out on a hike. The day after they were last seen, their bodies were discovered.
On Monday, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter announced the arrest of Richard Allen, 50 of Delphi, according to NBC.
Carter previously said in 2019 that the suspect was probably “hiding in plain sight.”
Mike Patty, the grandfather of Libby German, said they did not know Allen.
“As Doug Carter said … earlier, if you recall. He said he’s hiding in plain sight,” Patty said, according to the Louisville Journal & Courier. “And that’s the case. Didn’t know, I don’t know the gentleman personally at all. I’ve probably seen him. It’s a small county. But definitely I don’t know him.”
“Today is not a day to celebrate,” Carter said, adding the limited details are being released to protect the integrity of the case prosecutors will present against Allen.
Carter said documents are sealed because “this investigation is far from complete,” according to NBC.
One piece of evidence has been public since the early aftermath of the killings — an image Libby German took on her cellphone of a man approaching them, and a snippet of an audio recording in which a man told the girls to go “down the hill.”
“Since the murders of Abby and Libby 2,086 days ago, the daily investigative team has worked tirelessly and is certainly worthy of mention today,” Carter said.
“Per the court order we cannot talk about the evidence in the probable cause or the charging information,” Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland said. Allen’s trial is scheduled for March.
#BREAKING today: Richard Allen of Delphi has been charged with two counts of murder for the 2017 deaths of Libby German and Abby Williams.
The Carroll County prosecutor says Allen’s charging docs will be sealed as it’s still an open investigation with extra scrutiny. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/N4t2oLeds9
— Erica Finke WSBT (@EricaFinkeTV) October 31, 2022
Carter said it was “emotional” to tell the families of the arrest.
“They’re wonderful people that are credibly stoic. I’m not going to pretend to understand what it’s like to lose a child because I don’t,” he said. “They know there’s a long way to go and this just turns the page. So there’s more to do. There’s more for them to process, more for them to endure.”
Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby, who was in his post at the time of the murders, spoke briefly Monday.
“I believe in a God of justice and righteousness. Today I believe that same God has provided us with justice for Abby and Libby,” he said, according to WXIN-TV.
Patty said the arrest was “somewhat bittersweet,” according to the Journal & Courier.
“We’ve still got, now we’ve got a big mountain ahead of us. And we’re going to stay after it. We have never given up. And you guys have not given up on us. We’re going to keep pushing all the way,” he said.
The only connection between the girls’ families and Allen was that as an employee of a CVS store, he printed pictures free of charge for the family, Becky Patty, the grandmother of the victims, said.
“We were called in on Wednesday to tell us they had detained somebody, so we’ve had a couple more days to process this,” she said. “I don’t feel like I thought I would. I’ve always said that I would be screaming on the rooftop. We’re not. It’s sad.
“While there’s somebody that’s been arrested, our lives for five and a half years have been in a search mode and that’s what we’ve done. We’re not doing that anymore. So we’re all just kind feeling our way and figuring out what our purpose is now. What do we do next; how do we help,” she said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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