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A man accused of killing Indiana teens Libby German and Abby Williams used to muse about the case with patrons of a local Delphi bar — even once sitting just feet away from a wanted poster with a sketch of the suspect, according to a bar owner.
Bob Matlock, the former owner of the now-shuttered JC’s Bar, told The Daily Beast that Richard Allen — a 50-year-old father of two — and his wife had been a regular customer at the Delphi establishment for years.
“He would come in and we would always talk about the girls and everything,” Matlock told the outlet. “We would carry on conversations about it, he would say, you know, it’s such a tragedy, and we’d say we felt sorry for the families and all that, but we tried not to talk about it too much because we all knew the families, and were friends with the families.”
In one photo that has been circulated on social media in the wake of his arrest, Allen is pictured at the bar sitting near a police sketch of the suspect hanging on a wall behind him.
“We were all sitting at the table there, we were having a pool night, and just having fun — we were snapping pictures and everything,” Matlock remembered. “Every business in town had those [sketches] up. It just happened to be, he was sitting there at the time.”
Yet, Matlock said he never thought the sketch resembled Allen, known to his friends as Rick, and was shocked when police arrested Allen last week for the murder of the two teens, whose bodies were found in a wooded area near the Delphi Historic Trail on Valentine’s Day 2017.
They disappeared a day earlier after going to the area to hang out on an afternoon off school.
“I just couldn’t believe it when they said they arrested him,” Matlock said. “I said, ‘Well, that can’t be the Rick we know.’ And then we come to find out it was… There wouldn’t have been any inkling to anyone that knew him that would expect him to do something like that.”
For close to two decades, Matlock said he had been “good friends” with Allen and his wife, Kathy Allen, who worked as a veterinarian.
The couple had been regulars at JC’s Bar for years, visiting the bar about three to four times a week, according to The Indianapolis Star, who also spoke with Matlock.
"They were a good family couple," he said. "That's what I guess was the biggest shock.”
The Indiana State Police announced that Allen was facing two counts of murder in the teens’ death earlier this week, but declined to provide any details about what they believe linked him to the crime.
Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland said at a press conference held earlier this week that Allen was formally charged with the murders on Friday, saying only that a judge “did find probable cause” to link him to the deaths.
The arrest has shaken the small town of Delphi, Indiana, which is home to about 3,000 people. Allen had worked as a pharmacy technician in Delphi’s only CVS.
Betty Cummings told the local paper that she recalled seeing Allen coming to pick lunch up at the McDonald’s near the pharmacy when she was dining with friends. She described him as quiet and mild-mannered.
"He just blended right in," she said. "You wouldn't even suspect the guy."
Regular CVS customer Chuck Webb described Allen, who was a registered pharmacy technician in Indiana, to WLFI as “friendly.”
“I was actually really, really shocked,” he said. “I’ve dealt with the gentleman several times… I go through the drive-thru a lot. He was actually helping people through the drive-thru window.”
CVS confirmed Allen’s employment and expressed sorrow for the victims’ families in a statement released to Oxygen.com.
"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 statement said. “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."
Before his arrest, Allen lived with his wife in a quiet residential neighborhood just half-mile from the middle school where Williams and German had attended, WRTV reports.
Deputies were sent to Allen’s home just after 3:30 a.m. in the morning on June, 18, 2015 for what was described as “domestic” incident, according to WXIN-TV.
Sheriff Tobe Leazenby told the news outlet that Allen had allegedly been drunk and his wife was taking him to an area hospital for evaluation. Leazenby said deputies were called only to “keep the peace” and no legal action was ever taken against Allen.
Before moving to Delphi, the family had lived in the small community of Mexico, where Allen had grown up.
David Yoder lived across the street and described him as a “heck of a nice guy.” He said there was nothing about Allen’s behavior that ever made him suspect he could one day be accused of murder.
“He was an all-around good, normal everyday family man,” he told the news outlet. “There’s nothing out of the ordinary about him.”
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