More than five years on from when teenage best friends Libby German and Abby Williams were last seen alive, a 50-year-old local married man was arrested and charged in connection with the 2017 Delphi murders.
Richard Matthew Allen, from Delphi, Indiana, was taken into custody 26 October and booked into Carroll County Jail on two counts of murder. He was then moved to a state facility, reportedly for his own safety.
Mr Allen’s arrest marked a bombshell development in the high-profile case that has rocked the small, close-knit community of Delphi and had gone unsolved for more than half a decade.
The 50-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, in the latest dramatic twist in the case, Mr Allen’s attorneys have claimed not only that he is innocent – but that the victims died at the hands of a pagan white nationalist cult.
In sensational court documents, filed on 18 September, attorneys claim that the teenage best friends were killed as part of a “ritualistic sacrifice” by a group of Odinists.
It’s the latest twist in the tragic case which marked a major breakthrough with Mr Allen’s arrest back in October.
Before his sudden arrest, the suspect’s name had never before been publicly linked to the murders.
Here’s what we know about him:
Who is Richard Allen?
At the time of the murders, Mr Allen would have been 44 years old.
The 50-year-old is a local resident of Delphi, the small, close-knit town of around 3,000 people where the teenage girls lived with their families before their murders.
His family home is less than a five-minute drive away from where the bodies of Libby and Abby were found, residing in a neighborhood southwest of the Monon High Bridge.
According to online records, Mr Allen has lived in Delphi since at least 2006, and in Indiana his whole adult life.
Married to his wife Kathy with whom he shares an adult daughter, Mr Allen is a trained pharmacy technician, receiving his most recent pharmaceutical licence in February 2018 – one year on from the murders.
At the time of his arrest, he worked at the local CVS store – coming into contact with members of the community as part of his job.
Libby’s grandparents Mike and Becky Patty said that they recalled Mr Allen processing photos for them at the store.
CVS offered its condolences to the victim’s families and said it would cooperate with the investigation in any way it can.
“As members of the Carroll County community, we remain devastated by these murders and our hearts go out to the German and Williams families,” the company said in a statement following his arrest.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn that one of our store employees was arrested as a suspect in these crimes. We stand ready to cooperate with the police investigation in any way we can.”
Local residents reacted with shock when news broke of his arrest, saying that he seemed “like a normal guy”.
“When I will go into CVS as a customer myself, he would say ‘do you need any help?’ I would be like ‘no’,” Chandler Underhill, the manager of the local Brick & Mortar Pub, where he said Mr Allen was a regular, told Fox59.
“Just like a normal guy that I’ve seen for the last couple years, not really thinking anything.”
Mr Underhill said that Mr Allen always seemed “normal” when he would come into the pub where he works.
“I would talk; he wouldn’t say much. He seems like a normal guy,” he said.
“One of my servers was telling me that he wouldn’t speak much.”
Libby’s grandfather told reporters after a 31 October press conference that his granddaughter’s accused killer had been “hiding in plain sight” the whole time.
“As [Indiana State Police Supt] Doug Carter said that earlier, if you recall. He said he’s hiding in plain sight,” he said.
“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.”
It has also emerged that the accused killer brazenly posed for a smiling selfie in front of one of the police sketches of the murder suspect.
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. Mr Allen bears some likeness to the drawing.
The selfie was posted on social media the same month 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.
Prior to his arrest on suspicion of double homicide, Mr Allen appears to have no prior criminal record.
However, the Carroll County Jail record lists Mr Allen as also going by the alias of Craigh Ross Rentfrow.
What happened to Libby and Abby?
Libby and Abby went missing on 13 February 2017 after they set off on a hike along the Monon High Bridge Trail in Delphi, Indiana.
Their bodies were discovered the next day in a wooded area around half a mile off the trail.
For years, police have refused to say how the girls died and have revealed few details about the crime scene.
However, shocking new details about the murders came to light in a search warrant application obtained by podcast The Murder Sheet and shared with The Independent back in May.
The warrant, filed by an FBI agent investigating the murders back in 2017 and partly redacted, was to carry out a search on the home of a local man Ronald Logan.
In it, the agent revealed that the girls had lost “a lot” of blood during their deaths and that their killer is believed to have moved and staged their bodies, before taking some sort of souvenir from the scene.
For the first time, the warrant also revealed that the teenagers had been killed by some type of weapon. The word for the weapon was redacted in the document.
The murderer would have been covered in the victims’ blood in the aftermath of the slayings due to the “large amount of blood was lost by the victims at the crime scene”, it reads.
“Because of the nature of the victim’s wounds, it is nearly certain the perpetrator of the crime would have gotten blood on his person/clothing.”
Chilling footage of suspect
On the day the girls went missing, Libby had posted photos on Snapchat of her and Abby walking along the trail.
The happy image of the two best friends is believed to be the last photo of them before they died.
In a move that propelled the investigation forward, Libby also captured a grainy video on her phone of a man dressed in blue jeans, a blue jacket and a cap walking along the abandoned railroad bridge.
Investigators released a grainy image from the video and a chilling audio of the man telling the two girls: “Go down the hill.”
Investigators have long suspected that this man is the girls’ killer and have praised the girls for documenting the video as evidence.
Up until now, the man has never been identified.
Police gave the description of the man as a white male aged between 16 and 40 years old, between 5’ 6” and 5’ 10” in height and weighing between 180 and 200 pounds.
Two police sketches – one in 2017 and one in 2019 – were circulated of a man matching the description of the man in the footage.
Mr Allen’s October mugshot bears some likeness to these police sketches.
The probable cause affidavit released a month after Mr Allen’s arrest contains an eyewitness account from three girls under 17 who say they encountered a man on the Monon High Bridge who seemed to be hiding his face and glared at them when they said hello.
One of the three juveniles put the man’s height at no taller than 5’ 10”. They gave varying accounts of what he was wearing, but all said he had jeans and a jacket on.
A female witness, whose name has also been redacted, told investigators she also saw a man matching the description of the “Bridge Guy” captured on Libby’s video on the Monon High Bridge. She also recounted seeing Libby and Abby walking towards the bridge at about 1.49pm.
Then, around two hours after Libby and Abby were last seen alive, a woman driving past the area said she saw a “muddy and bloody” man dressed in a blue jacket and blue jeans walking away from the Monon High Bridge, the affidavit says.
“She further stated that it appeared he had gotten into a fight,” it reads.
Suspect tied to bullet found at murder scene
The criminal affidavit, which was partially redacted and released in November, revealed that the local man was finally tied to the February 2017 murders through a bullet found at the bloody crime scene.
Ballistics confirmed that an unspent .40 caliber round found close to the bodies of the teenage victims came from Mr Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226.
The Sig Sauer Model P226, which the suspect owned since 2001, was found during a search of Mr Allen’s home.
Both the 50-year-old local man and his wife Kathy allegedly confirmed that he was the only person with access to the firearm. Mr Allen has since pushed to have key ballistics evidence ruled inadmissible.
It also revealed that he is believed to be the “Bridge Guy” seen in a video that Libby recorded and posted to her Snapchat account on the day she died and that Mr Allen was interviewed by police in 2017 shortly after the murders – confirming he has been on their radar for years.
Officials have not ruled out the possibility that other individuals were also involved in the teenagers’ brutal murders and, if so, vowed that they will also face charges.
When charges were filed on 28 October, Libby’s sister Kelsi German tweeted that “today is the day” they had been waiting for.
“Just know how grateful I am for all of you. No comments for now, any questions please refer to the Carroll county prosecutor’s office. There is tentatively a press conference Monday at 10am. We will say more then. Today is the day,” she said.
Allen’s interviews with Indiana police
The affidavit is sure to raise questions as it revealed that Mr Allen spoke with investigators at least twice, including in 2017 - confirming that he was on the police radar at the time of the murders.
In the 2017 interview, Mr Allen had confessed to being on the Monon High Bridge Trail on the afternoon of 13 February – placing him on the scene at the same day and time that the victims went on their fateful walk.
At the time, he denied any involvement in the murders and insisted he had never seen the two girls that day.
In another interview on 13 October 2022, Mr Allen had “no explanation” as to how the spent bullet ended up in between the bodies of the two teenage victims, the affidavit states.
The accused killer said he had “not been on the property where the unspent round was found, that he did not know the property owner, and that he had no explanation as to why a round cycled through his firearm would be at that location,” it says. The property owner – Ron Logan – was also previously tied to the case. He died in 2020.
It emerged in court on 15 June that Mr Allen has confessed to the 2017 killings multiple times while behind bars.
In an Indiana court hearing, both the accused killer’s defence and prosecutors revealed that Mr Allen had made “incriminating admissions” about the murders in the seven months since he was arrested and jailed awaiting trial.
Carroll County Prosecutor Nick McLeland said he had “confessed five or six times to killing the girls”, making “multiple confessions to multiple people”.
Mr Allen’s defence attorneys agreed that Mr Allen had “made incriminating statements implicating himself in the crime,” but insisted that the statements were vague, “inconsistent” with his past not guilty plea and denials, and couldn’t be trusted due to their client’s mental state.
The exact nature of the confessions and incriminating statements have not been revealed.
In the hearing, Mr Allen’s attorneys also argued that he should be moved from state prison to a jail ahead of his trial, which has now been scheduled to begin on 8 January 2024. The judge will rule on this and a defence motion seeking to throw out evidence from the case at a later date.
An Odinist cult
In sensational court documents, filed in September, attorneys for the 50-year-old accused killer claim that the brutal 2017 murders were carried out by members of a pagan Norse religion and white nationalist group called Odinists.
“Members of a pagan Norse religion, called Odinism, hijacked by white nationalists,ritualistically sacrificed Abigail Williams and Liberty German,” state the documents, seen by The Independent.
The nature of the crime scene pointed to the work of a cult from the get-go, according to the bombshell 135-page document.
Libby and Abby’s bodies had both been staged with tree branches and sticks across their bodies in the shape of pagan symbols, the documents state – which “resembled possible Odinism signatures left behind at the crime scene”.
While his defence attorneys claim Mr Allen has no connection to any pagan cult, the bombshell documents take the extraordinary step of naming four apparent Odinites as potential suspects in the killings. The Independent is not naming these individuals – none of whom have ever been named by law enforcement as suspects or persons of interest in the case.
Other names tied to the case
The arrest of Mr Allen marked the very first time his name has been publicly tied to the unsolved murders.
Over the years, authorities have honed in on several other men.
A 27-year-old Indiana man fell under the spotlight last year when the online account he used to groom underage girls online was tied to the teenage victims. His home had been searched on suspicion of child porn charges just two weeks after the 2017 murders.
In December 2021, Indiana State Police announced that officials had “uncovered” a fake online profile called anthony_shots.
The profile was used from 2016 to 2017 on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram and used photos of a known male model, portraying him as being extremely wealthy and owning numerous sports cars.
Investigators said the person behind the account was Kegan Anthony Kline, 27-year-old man with addresses in Kokomo and Peru, close to Delphi.
According to an affidavit, Kline posed as the model in order to groom underage girls and get them to send nude photos and their addresses and try to get them to meet him. The male model whose photos were used had no connection to the case.
Kline was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse images and child exploitation tied to the account in 2020 and admitted to investigators that he groomed underage girls online.
The affidavit said that Indiana State Police and the FBI carried out a search warrant on 25 February 2017 - less than two weeks after Abby and Libby were murdered - at Kline’s home in Peru after tracking down the user of the anthony_shots profile to the property.
Kline allegedly told investigators he would use social media accounts to talk to underage girls and had exchanged messages with and received about 100 sexual photos and about 20 sexually explicit videos from around 15 underage girls.
However, he denied any knowledge or involvement in the two teenagers’ deaths.
Kline was charged with 30 felonies in 2020 over the case. After five charges were dropped, Kline pleaded guilty to 25 counts and was sentenced to four decades in jail.
The documents, filed in 2020 and heavily redacted, do not mention the murders of Libby and Abby and he was not accused of involvement in their deaths.
Libby’s grandmother Becky Patty told The Independent prior to Mr Allen’s arrest that the teenager had never mentioned speaking to anyone online prior to her death and that there had never been any indication that the two girls had arranged to meet anyone online the day they were killed.
Investigators urged anyone who had communicated with, met, or attempted to meet the individual posing as anthony_shots to come forward with information.
Prior to this, Ronald Logan had previously been on police radar, according to the 2017 search warrant application.
Logan owned the land on which Libby and Abby’s bodies were found and his home was just 1,400 feet from the crime scene.
The warrant application cites multiple complaints that he was violent towards women and that he owned multiple weapons, including handguns and knives.
Logan also allegedly lied about where he was at the time that the teenagers disappeared, claiming he was out of the area with a friend on the afternoon of 13 February when cellphone location data actually placed him in the area around the trail.
The document also says that his voice was “not inconsistent” with the man captured in the video by Libby.
Logan was never charged and he died in 2020, before the case was solved.
It is currently unclear if Mr Allen has any connection to Logan or Kline or to the anthony_shots account.
Suspect may not have acted alone, prosecutors say
During a bail hearing on 22 November, prosecutors asked a judge to keep affidavits in the case sealed as they believed Mr Allen may not have acted alone.
Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland also argued that unsealing the affidavits would open witnesses to harassment, according to Fox59.
Ms Patty had also sought to have sensitive information relating to the case kept out of the public eye, prosecutors said.
Mr Allen penned a handwritten letter from his prison cell claiming that his wife has been forced into hiding and that he is now “at the mercy of the court”.
In the letter, obtained by The Independent, Mr Allen revealed that his wife Kathy has “been forced” to leave both her job and the couple’s home in Delphi “for her own safety”.
He also begged the court to appoint a public defender, after previously informing the court he intended to hire private counsel.
Now, he is seeking to suppress certain evidence from the case.