Nearly six years after the murders of Libby German and Abby Williams, authorities have charged a man, Richard Allen, with their murders. Allen reportedly pleaded not guilty and refused to cooperate with the investigation. Indiana State Superintendent Doug Carter told ABC News that the police had received more than 70,000 tips regarding the case.
“We committed a long time ago this day would come,” Carter said. “Evil never wins. I wish I could take their [the girls’ families] hurt away, but I can’t.” Cynthia Rossi, Libby and Abby’s friend, told CNN:
“I’m glad that justice will be served, hopefully, that that’s what the news is, but a part of me will always have died with them that day, and a part of me will never fully find peace and justice.”
The nature of Abby and Libby’s murders remains unclear
On 13th February 2017, Abby and Libby embarked on a hike along the Monon High Bridge Trail. The girls didn’t show up at the time they were supposed to meet Libby’s dad. Following a brief search, authorities discovered their bodies in a wooded area about half a mile from the drop-off location.
The police released very few details about the girls’ murders and the crime scene. However, a search warrant application obtained by The Murder Sheet podcast shed some light on the deaths. Authorities used the warrant to search Ronald Logan’s home.
As reported by The Independent, Abby and Libby lost ’a lot’ of blood during their deaths. The warrant stated that the suspect used some sort of weapon to kill the teenagers. It added that blood must have splashed onto the killer’s clothes.
“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,” the warrant read. Per warrant, police believed the girls died in another location before the killer moved their bodies to where they were found, and the murderer took a souvenir.
Libby captured a grainy video of a man wearing a blue jacket and jeans. The police suspected that the man was the girls’ killer. Libby’s grandmother Becky Patty told The Independent that there was no evidence that the girls had planned to meet anyone online the day of their deaths, indicating a stranger killed the girls:
“Up until last night we were all under the impression that there was no indication and even now, as far as I’m aware, there is no indication that the girls had any plans to meet anyone out there [on the trail].”
The police haven’t publicized the evidence linking Richard Allen to the murders
Richard Allen awaits trial for Abby and Libby’s murder, suggesting that prosecutors have enough evidence to sustain a murder charge. However, investigators have sealed documents relating to Richard Allen’s indictment. Doug Kouns, a former FBI agent, told WRTV:
“They’ve been able to convince a judge that we have enough evidence to move forward. I think just the magnitude of this case and the amount of attention that it’s gotten, I don’t believe they would have moved forward unless (the evidence) was very strong.”
A couple living near Allen told CNN that unmarked police vehicles arrived at Richard’s home on 13th October 2022. The neighbors revealed that the police searched his house and yard, taking away clothing, books, a shopping bag, and a shoebox. They added that the search team dug two small areas in the backyard.
The couple said that Allen never stood out and rarely had visitors. Allen works at a CVS in Delphi, where he helped Tara German, Libby’s aunt, print photos for Libby’s funeral. Tara told CNN:
“I went into the store to print photos of Libby for the funeral, and he was the one who helped me. I was a mess trying to get the images off my phone. Once they were printed, he looked at me and said, ‘I’m not gonna charge you for this.’”
Allen’s alleged involvement in the murders remains a mystery, which Superintendent Carter believes is essential to the case. “The investigation is far from complete and we will not jeopardize its integrity by releasing or discussing documents or information before the appropriate time,” Carter said.
Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland asked a judge to seal Allen’s charging information and the probable cause affidavit, which are typically public documents. McLeland said his office hasn’t ruled out charging other suspects:
“We encourage everybody to continue to call in tips not only about Richard Allen but about any other person that you may have. For that reason, and for the nature of this case, the probable cause and the charging information has been sealed by the court.”
McLeland insisted that the need to maintain the integrity of the case outweighed the public’s right to information. He added that there will be a hearing before a judge to determine whether the records will remain sealed.
We’ll learn more about the case as Allen’s trial commences. His pretrial hearing is scheduled for 13th January 2023, and his trial is slated to start on 20th March 2023. Allen is currently held without bond at a state facility in Indiana.