Evidence in the Delphi, Indiana double murder case was revealed by the district court on Tuesday, revealing key new details, including that suspect Richard Allen’s gun was linked to the crime scene.
But there are still many questions about the murders of 13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German.
Here’s what we learned and what remains unclear:
Allen places himself on the scene
Abby and Libby, best friends in eighth grade, were on a hiking trail in rural Delphi when they were murdered in February 2017.
Allen, 50, from Delphi, was arrested last month. He is charged with two murders and pleaded not guilty.
When Allen was questioned by police in 2017, he said he was after her the afternoon of the murders, according to his probable cause statement.
In an interview on October 13, 2022, Allen told police that he saw little girls on the trails east of Freedom Bridge and went to Monon High Bridge, near where the girls were killed.
According to his probable cause statement, this year Allen “again” admitted to being on the trail “to the police”, but denied knowing Victim 1 or Victim 2 and denied any involvement in their murders.
Former FBI agent and ABC News columnist Brad Garrett said Allen has been “consistent” in police interviews over the years. “He put himself on the scene, on the bridge.”
However, Garrett said he did not understand how the arrest took so long.
“In a small town, with little traffic on this abandoned railroad bridge … your pool of suspects is pretty small,” Garrett said, so the police likely focused their investigation on Delphi and the surrounding communities.
Allen’s gun was found at the crime scene
According to the probable cause statement, video recovered from one of the victim’s phones, Abby or Libby mentioned the “gun” as a man approached them.
An unused .40 caliber bullet was found less than 2 meters from the body of one of the girls, and according to the probable cause statement, the unused bullet passed through a weapon Allen owned.
Garrett explained that “an unconsumed bullet is one in which the casing and bullet are still together.” He said that to get it, one of two things happens: 1.) Someone tries to fire the gun but it’s a faulty bullet and won’t fire, or 2.) The gun, which Garrett says is common, jams.
During a search of Allen’s home on October 13, 2022, officers found knives and weapons, including “Sig Sauer, Model P226, .40-caliber pistol.”
Indiana State Police’s analysis of Allen’s gun determined that the unexhausted bullet found within “two feet of one of the victims was ‘circulated through Richard M. Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226,'” the statement of probable cause said.
“When asked about unconsumed lead, [Allen] No explanation was given as to why the bullet was found among the bodies of the girls, a possible reason was stated.
According to the document, when Allen voluntarily spoke to the police on October 26, 2022, he said he never allowed anyone to borrow this gun, which he said he had owned since 2001.
Garrett said he didn’t understand why it took so many years for police to match an unfinished bullet at the crime scene with a gun belonging to a Delphi man.
Garrett said he hopes inspectors will go to all local gun shops to see sales records for .40-caliber guns. Garrett said he solves murder cases this way because typically a perpetrator legally purchases guns near their home.
While it’s unclear whether police went to the weapons depots, Garrett thinks this is unlikely, as the gun was not mentioned in the case until the probable cause document was released on Tuesday.
How did the girls die?
It is unclear whether Abby or Libby died from bullet wounds, although a gun was mentioned. Police still haven’t released the cause of death.
The probable cause statement revealed that the girls’ clothing was found in a creek south of where their bodies were found.
“I’ve always been concerned about how these two teenagers died. The police put a 40-caliber gun on the case,” Garrett said. “You have this unused shell casing next to the victims’ bodies, but you also have the things that really bother me: [The girls] in one place, his clothes are in another. … As long as he didn’t rob – which is possible – was another weapon used?
Investigators also cited a witness who saw Allen walking “in muddy and bloody clothing,” according to his probable cause statement.
According to Garrett, it’s highly unlikely that Allen will have blood if the only murder weapon is a gun, unless Allen somehow handles the bodies.
Garrett said the gun may have jammed and the killer might have turned to another gun.
According to the statement, knives were also found in Allen’s home.
“Why would the police stop you? [the cause of death]? All I can think of is that they were too frightening to be released in his mind,” Garrett said. “Looks like there’s more to this than a weapon.”
Police believe Allen is the person in the suspicious photo.
Video taken from one of the victim’s phones shows a man on the road wearing a dark jacket and jeans. An image from the video was released years ago when police requested information to help them locate the unknown suspect.
In a probable cause statement, investigators said they believed Allen was the man seen in the video.
According to his probable cause statement, Allen told investigators on October 13, 2022, that he was wearing jeans and a blue or black Carhartt jacket that day. According to the document, Allen’s wife confirmed to police that he had a blue Carhartt jacket.
According to the document, investigators also claim that Allen forced Abby and Libby down the hill to the place where they were murdered.
Allen’s chief defense attorney, Brad Rozzi, did not respond to a request for comment, and fellow attorney Andrew Baldwin declined to comment.
The Indiana State Police told ABC News on Tuesday: “Out of our respect for the prosecution process led by the Carroll County attorney, we refrain from making any public statements and will let any statement of probable cause stand on its own. This remains an active and ongoing investigation. For this reason, the Indiana State Police will continue to provide all available resources to assist in the prosecution of this case.”
Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said the information in the probable cause statement was “explanatory” and declined to comment further.