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The long-concealed probable cause affidavit detailing the Delphi murder investigation has been made public.
On Tuesday, Allen County Superior Judge Fran Gull ordered that redacted records concerning how Indiana authorities determined that Richard M. Allen, 50, was a suspect in the 2017 murders of friends Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and Liberty “Libby” German, 14, be released. They were then obtained by Oxygen.com.
The decision to release the document comes after much back-and-forth, both inside and outside the courtroom. Prosecutors, with the support of German’s family, sought to keep the records sealed, while media outlets and the defense sought their release.
The released affidavit shows only seven pages of the supposedly eight-page document, as also noted by the Lafayette Journal & Courier. A Carroll County Clerk’s Office employee told the outlet that seven pages were all they had.
Williams and German disappeared on Feb. 13, 2017 while walking near the Monon High Bridge, described by authorities as an “abandoned railroad trestle” along the Delphi, Indiana hiking trails.
According to the affidavit, both girls’ bodies were found the next day, just 0.2 miles from the bridge on the northern side of Deer Creek.
The affidavit refers to the girls as Victim 1 and Victim 2 and has the witnesses’ names redacted.
“Clothes were found in the Deer Creek belonging to Victim 1 and Victim 2, south of where their bodies were located,” according to the affidavit filed with the Carroll Circuit Court.
Although a cause of death has not officially been released, the affidavit states an unspent .40 caliber round was found between the girls’ bodies, which would later lead them to narrow in on Allen as a suspect.
The case gained considerable media attention after authorities released part of a video clip from Liberty German’s phone, showing a man — believed to be the killer — seemingly walking in their direction, saying, “Guys, down the hill.”
According to the recently-obtained documents, there was no activity on the phone following the recording, which occurred at 2:13 p.m. — less than half an hour after the girls were dropped off near Mears Farm for the hike.
“The video recovered from Victim 2’s phone shows Victim 1 walking southeast on the Monon High Bridge while a male subject wearing a dark jacket and jeans walks behind her,” the affidavit stated. “As the male subject approaches Victim 1 and Victim 2, one of the victims mentions, ‘gun.’”
Investigators conducted interviews with several people, including three juveniles, who reported seeing a man matching the suspect’s description walking toward Monon High Bridge around the time the pair vanished. One witness said the man was “kind of creepy,” according to the affidavit.
“[Witness] advised she said ‘Hi’ to the male, but he just glared at them,” the report stated.
A separate witness reported seeing the then-unidentified male subject walking away from Monon High Bridge, and that he “appeared he had gotten into a fight” and looked “muddy and bloody.”
Several others reported seeing the man and noting a vehicle “parked in an odd manner” behind the nearby Child Protection Services (CPS) building. One witness stated the automobile “appeared as though it was backed in to conceal the license plate of the vehicle.”
While witness accounts varied on the type of vehicle parked at the CPS building, including reports of a small SUV and a PT Cruiser, investigators would later say they “believe those descriptions are similar in nature” to Allen’s 2016 Ford Focus.
Richard Allen himself also gave a statement in 2017, admitting he was on the trails between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., having parked at the Old Farm Bureau building — which investigators believe was the CPS building, according to the affidavit.
It remains unclear when this information was reviewed, though the affiants say they “encountered” Allen’s 2017 statement while “reviewing prior tips.”
Investigators then re-interviewed Allen on Oct. 13, when he maintained that he was on the Monon High Bridge “to watch the fish.” He admitted that he'd worn blue jeans and a blue or black Carhartt jacket, which matched the description of the suspect captured on German’s phone.
Police also questioned Allen’s wife, Kathy Allen, who told authorities her husband still owned the same Carhartt jacket.
That same day, investigators issued a search warrant for Allen’s residence, collecting jackets, boots, knives and multiple firearms — including a .40 caliber pistol.
“Between October 14, 2022, and October 19, 2022, the Indiana State Police Laboratory performed analysis on Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226,” the affidavit continued. “The Laboratory determined the unspent round located within two feet of Victim 2’s body had been cycled through Richard M. Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226.”
Investigators learned Allen purchased the gun in 2001.
On Oct. 26, Allen voluntarily walked into an Indiana State Police post, claiming he had no explanation as to why the bullet was found near the girls’ bodies. He also said he “never allowed anyone to use or borrow” the firearm in question.
Police arrested Allen two days later.
Earlier this week, citing “highly publicized” interest in the case, Allen’s court-appointed attorneys filed for a change of venue, according to Fox Indianapolis affiliate WXIN. The motion came before Tuesday’s release of the probable cause affidavit.
Allen’s defense claimed that “extensive media attention” in the past five years would “make it difficult to find a jury” unfamiliar with the case in Carroll County. They moved to have the trial conducted 150 miles away to “significantly reduce the likelihood of obtaining a tainted jury,” according to the Indianapolis outlet.
His lawyers specifically pointed to online search trends in both Carroll County and Fort Wayne (in Allen County). In October, they said, unique users in Carroll County — population 20,000 — searched Allen’s name 1,000 to 10,000 times, accounting for up to one-half of county residents.
In Fort Wayne, which has a population of 260,000, only about 1 in 26 residents conducted similar searches, according to WXIN.
“It is common sense to presume that residents from counties further away from Carroll County will not have the same level of investment in the case and therefore will be able to more fairly decide the matter without concern about how their verdict may affect their relationships with other Carroll County residents,” attorneys wrote.
Richard Allen, a former CVS employee, has reportedly lived at the same Delphi residence with his wife since 2006, according to ABC Indianapolis affiliate WRTV. The home, from which Allen said his wife was forced to leave on account of the publicity, is two and a half miles from the Monon High Bridge.
“I didn’t expect him to literally be living right under everyone’s noses,” German’s mother, Carrie Timmons, previously said.
Allen remains at an undisclosed state facility for his own protection.
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