Delphi murders: A man has been arrested and charged in the 2017 killing of 2 teenage girls in Indiana, authorities say

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CNN

A man has been arrested in the 2017 murders of 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German in Delphi, Indiana, authorities said Monday.

Richard M. Allen of Delphi was arrested on two counts of murder, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said at a news conference.

“The arrest of Richard M. Allen of Delphi on two counts of murder is certainly a major step towards the conclusion of this complex and lengthy investigation,” Carter said.

“This investigation is far from over,” the commissioner said. “And we will not compromise its integrity by releasing or discussing any material or information before the appropriate time.”

“Although I know you are waiting for all the final details today regarding this arrest, today is not that day,” he said.

“We will continue a very methodical and committed approach to ensure that if another person was involved in these killings in any way, that person or persons will be held accountable.”

Allen pleaded not guilty at an initial hearing, Carroll County District Attorney Nick McLeland said at the news conference.

Abby and Libby embarked on a hike on Delphi’s historic trails during a day off from school on Feb. 13, 2017 – but never returned.

A massive search began after the teenagers failed to meet Libby’s father that afternoon for a ride home. Eighteen hours later, their bodies were found in the woods, near an abandoned railroad bridge they had photographed on their hike.

Abby posted a photo on Snapchat of the girls crossing the railway bridge shortly before they were killed.

But it was another image captured by Libby that made headlines across the country – a grainy, pixelated image of a man in a blue jacket and jeans on the bridge. Shortly after the killings, Indiana State Police released this image of the man they believed to be a suspect in the double homicide, CNN previously reported.

State police also released an audio recording of the alleged killer saying the four words that continue to terrorize Delphi: “…guys…down the hill,” in hopes the public can identify the suspect’s voice.

In 2019, police released a new sketch and additional video of one of the girl’s cellphones.

The murders devastated the Delphi community, which rallied to find the killer. Investigators received a dozen or more new tips every day, Carroll County District Attorney Nicholas McLeland said in 2019.

Libby’s grandparents Mike and Becky Patty have made an impassioned plea for help in 2021.

“Realizing that life goes on, life is busy, people forget,” they said in a letter to the public. “Please understand, at one point it was us too. But not now, we are stuck in time looking for a monster who murdered two young girls. We only ask for a minute of your day. If it was your child or a loved one, do you think that’s too much to ask?”

In December 2021, detectives from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Indiana State Police asked for the public’s help regarding the social media profile for “anthony_shots”, which was used from 2016 to 2017 on Snapchat, Instagram and possibly other social media sites, according to a state police press release.

The catfish account “used images of a well-known male model and portrayed himself as being extremely wealthy and owning numerous sports cars,” the statement said. “The creator of the fictitious profile used this information while communicating with young women to solicit nude images, obtain their addresses and attempt to meet them.”

Investigators identified the model depicted in the photos and said “he is not a person of interest to the investigation”.

Detectives, however, are looking for information on “the person who created the anthony_shots profile,” according to the press release.

Last week, Cynthia Rossi, a friend of Abby and Liberty who grew up close to them, told CNN there was “a lot of hope” that Monday’s announcement would put an end to the affair. .

“I’m glad justice is served, I hope that’s the news, but a part of me will still die with them on that day, and a part of me will never fully find peace and justice,” Rossi said. .

Delphi resident Shirley Goyer said the town is “ready for the news” on Monday and many people will be at the news conference in anticipation that police may have caught the person responsible for the death. of Abby and Liberty.

“A lot of people will be there. We’ve been waiting for this, so it’s a good thing that we’re finally getting to the end, I hope,” Goyer said.

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