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Police Say Delphi Murders Investigation Is ‘Extremely Complicated,’ ID Mysterious Catfish
Indiana State Police responded to media inquiries asking why it took three years to arrest Kegan Kline for sex crimes involving children.
Though investigators have publicly identified a man accused of creating a fake social media profile to commit child sex crimes, they’re keeping tight-lipped as to whether or not the alleged catfish has definitively been tied to the murder of two teen girls.
Indiana State Police issued an appeal on Dec. 6 asking anyone who had contact with an account using the name “anthony_shots” in 2016 or 2017 to come forward. The appeal was issued as part of their ongoing investigation into the Feb. 2017 murders of Liberty “Libby” German, 14, and Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, in Delphi, Indiana.
In a statement emailed to Oxygen.com, authorities identified the man as Kegan Kline, 27. He had admitted to being behind the anthony_shots accounts shortly after the murders.
In Aug. 2020, Kline of Kokomo, Indiana, was charged with 30 different crimes, including multiple counts of child exploitation, multiple counts of possession of child pornography, multiple counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of "synthetic identity deception" and one count of soliciting a child for sex, court records show.
Kline's 2020 arrest stems from what the police termed "secondary investigations based on information we received" in the German and Williams murders. On Feb. 25, 2017 — when Kline was 22 — police executed a search warrant for evidence of the alleged crimes, according to redacted court records cited by Indianapolis’s Fox 59. Kline, who had just returned from a trip to Las Vegas, reportedly told authorities then that he had about 100 photos and 20 videos in his possession containing explicit sexual material.
Kline admitted to investigators then that he had created the anthony_shots account about six months prior in order to contact "girls" he knew and those he didn't, reported Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR. He also solicited nude pictures and videos from any girl he contacted via Instagram and Snapchat, even if he knew she was under 16.
He admitted to saving all the pictures he received and investigators seized six devices. On them, they found sexually explicit pictures of minors dating back to 2015, some of which were geolocated to other nearby towns in Indiana. All of the pictures were from November 2016 and prior, though another phone turned over had been factory reset just nine days after the German and Williams murders. (Police were still able to recover some data from that phone.)
Kline later called investigators and turned over an iPhone 5 on which they found other sexually explicit material, though they could not determine the ages of the people in the photos. They also found that Kline had uninstalled and deleted data from multiple social media and messaging programs — in addition to his browser history — after the search was conducted and before handing over the phone.
Police have not indicate why it took them three years after discovering the child pornography to arrest Kline, citing a “long, complex, and extremely complicated” murder investigation.
“We understand there was a period of time that passed between 2017 and 2020 when Kline was not arrested and incarcerated for possession of child pornography,” said the Indiana State Police – Lafayette District in their statement. “Once the Indiana State Police presented the criminal case to the Miami County Prosecutor in June of 2020, immediate action was taken by both the Indiana State Police and the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office, which ultimately resulted in Kline’s arrest.”
Police stated they would learn from their mistakes and make any necessary adjustments, noting they don’t believe the oversight was intentional.
On Dec. 6, investigators said that the “anthony_shots” profile was part of their investigation but have not confirmed whether or not Kline is a definitive suspect in the murders of Williams and German or if he ever communicated with the girls.
Investigators said “anthony_shots,” who appropriated the photos of a male model since identified and cleared of any involvement by police, used social media platforms including Instagram and Snapchat to lure underage girls between 2016 and 2017.
Kline, however, was already in custody when the police appealed for information on Dec. 6. He was granted a bond of $265,000 after his arrest, of which 10 percent would have to be put up in cash, but has never apparently posted it. Kline is listed as a current inmate at the Miami County jail.
On Wednesday, WTHR reported that Kline's child sex case was going to trial in 2022 after talks about a plea deal broke down.
On Feb. 13, 2017, German and Williams disappeared from the Delphi Historic Trails while on an afternoon hike on a day off from school, as previously reported. Their bodies were discovered about half a mile from the path the following day. The case gained national interest after police released video that German captured the suspect on her cell phone, who was recorded saying, “Guys… down the hill.”
Despite numerous appeals, investigators never identified the man captured in the image.
Since 2017, the case has garnered more than 40,000 tips and 1,000 suspects, according to Fort Wayne’s NBC affiliate.
“We know there is enormous interest in the ‘WHY’ of everything we do, but we cannot and will not speculate,” said State Police. “One day, you will have the opportunity to see and know what we do, and we look forward to that day.”
Anyone with information can contact law enforcement at (765) 822-3535 or through the tip line email at firstname.lastname@example.org.