Evidence in the Delphi, Indiana, double murder case was unsealed by a county court Tuesday, revealing key new details, including the fact that suspect Richard Allen’s gun was linked to the crime scene.
But many questions remain surrounding the murders of Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14.
Here’s what we’ve learned and what’s unclear:
Allen is placed 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, a 50-year-old Delphi man, was arrested last month. He is charged with two counts of murder and has pleaded not guilty.
When interviewed by police in 2017, Allen said he was on the trail the afternoon of the murders, according to the probable cause affidavit.
In an October 13, 2022 interview, Allen told police he saw underage girls on the trails east of the Freedom Bridge and said he went to the Monon High Bridge, near where the girls were killed.
This year, Allen “re-admitted” to police “that he was on the track but denied knowing either Victim 1 or Victim 2 and denied any involvement in their murders,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
Allen “has been consistent” in interviewing police over the years, said Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and ABC News contributor. “He put himself on the scene, on the bridge.”
But Garrett said he doesn’t understand how it took so long for an arrest.
“In a small town, in a place where there’s a small amount of traffic on this abandoned rail bridge … their pool of suspects is pretty small,” Garrett said, so police likely focused their investigation on Delphi and the communities surrounding.
Allen’s gun linked to the crime scene
According to video recovered from one of the victim’s phones, either Abby or Libby mentioned “weapon” when a man approached them, according to the probable cause affidavit.
An unexpended .40 caliber round was found less than 2 feet from the bodies of one of the girls, and that unexpended round went through a gun owned by Allen, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Garrett explained that an “unspent bullet is one that has the casing and shell still together.” To accomplish that, he said one of two things happens: 1.) Someone tries to fire the gun but it’s a defective bullet and won’t fire, or 2.) The gun jams, which Garrett said is common.
During a search of Allen’s home on Oct. 13, 2022, officers found knives and guns, including a “Sig Sauer, Model P226, .40 caliber pistol,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
Indiana State Police analysis of Allen’s gun “determined that the unexpended cartridge located within two feet” of one of the victims “had passed through Richard M. Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226,” the statement said. sworn probable cause
“When asked about the unspent bullet, [Allen] did not have an explanation as to why the bullet was found among” the bodies of the girls, the probable cause affidavit says.
When Allen voluntarily spoke to police on Oct. 26, 2022, he said he never allowed anyone to borrow that gun, which he said he had owned since 2001, the document added.
Garrett said he doesn’t understand why it took police so many years to find an unspent bullet at a crime scene with a gun owned by a man who lives in Delphi.
Garrett said he hopes investigators have visited all of the local gun stores to see their sales records for .40-caliber weapons. Garrett said he has solved homicide cases that way, because normally the perpetrator buys a gun legally near his house, he said.
While it’s unclear if police went to the gun stores, Garrett thinks it’s unlikely because a gun was not mentioned in the case until the probable cause document was released Tuesday.
How did the girls die?
Despite the mention of a gun, it is unclear if Abby or Libby died of gunshot wounds. Police have not yet released their cause of death.
The probable cause affidavit did reveal that clothing belonging to the girls was found in a creek south of where their bodies were discovered.
“I’ve always been concerned about how these two young men died. The police planted a .40 caliber weapon in the case,” Garrett said. “You have this unexpended casing near the bodies of the victims, but you also have things that worry me a lot: [The girls] they are in one place and their clothes in another. …Unless he forced them to disrobe, which I suppose is possible, was some other weapon used?”
Investigators also cite a witness who saw Allen walking around in “muddy and bloody clothing,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
According to Garrett, it is unlikely Allen would have been bloodied if a gun were the only murder weapon, unless Allen tampered with the bodies in some way.
Garrett said it’s possible the gun jammed and the killer turned to another weapon.
Knives were also found at Allen’s home, according to the affidavit.
“Why would the police withhold [the cause of death]? The only thing I can think of is that he was too scary, in the mind of him, to put it out there,” Garrett said. “It seems there is something more than just a weapon.”
Police believe Allen is the man in the suspicious photo
Video from one of the victim’s phones shows a man on the trail wearing a dark jacket and jeans. An image taken from the video was released years ago when police requested information to help them find the unknown suspect.
Investigators said in the probable cause affidavit that they believe Allen is the man seen on the video.
Allen told investigators on Oct. 13, 2022, that he was wearing jeans and a blue or black Carhartt jacket that day, according to the probable cause affidavit. Allen’s wife confirmed to police that he owns a blue Carhartt jacket, according to the document.
Investigators also claim that Allen forced Abby and Libby down the hill to the location where they were killed, according to the document.
Allen’s lead defense attorney, Brad Rozzi, did not respond to a request for comment, and attorney Andrew Baldwin declined to comment.
Indiana State Police told ABC News on Tuesday: “Out of respect for the prosecution process, which is being led by the Carroll County District Attorney, we are refraining from public statements and will allow the probable cause affidavit stand on its own.” As this continues to be an active and ongoing investigation, 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 affidavit is “self-explanatory” and declined to comment further.