At a news conference on Monday, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter announced that Richard Allen, a Delphi, Indiana, man, was arrested for the 2017 murders of eighth graders Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14.
The two best friends were hiking in rural Delphi when they were killed on Feb. 13, 2017.
A small Indiana town was shaken by the slayings and intrigue swept the country as to ‘who’ and ‘why’?
It is the first time a suspect has been named in the mysterious double murder. The motive for the girls’ deaths has yet to be revealed.
Becky Patty, the grandmother and guardian of Libby German, was surprised to discover the man arrested for their murders was a Delphi resident.
“This is a small community,” she told ABC News after Richard Allen’s arrest was announced. “For it to be one of us, it is very hard.”
“How can someone do that and then go on living life as if nothing had happened?” asked Libby’s grandfather, Mike Patty.
Kelsi German, Libby’s sister, said she has always thought the girls’ killer must be someone familiar with the Delphi area, but she did not want to believe the suspect “was right here among us.”
Mike Patty praised the officers, saying they sacrificed their own family time for his granddaughter’s case.
“They never let up,” he said.
“There’s a lot of questions we have that are unanswered,” he added, “but all in due time that will come.”
Her sister says the arrest brings “new obstacles and emotions we must learn to deal with.”
On Sunday, German visited her sister’s grave to inform her of the case’s progress.
According to Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter, more than 70,000 tips have been submitted since the murders in 2017.
“Americans were watching this case,” Carter said, “because Delphi — a wonderful community — is like so many others.”
“We committed a long time ago this day would come,” he said of the arrest.
“Evil never wins,” he added.
The suspect, Richard Allen, or the circumstances leading to his arrest were not discussed by Carter.
According to Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland, Richard Allen, the man charged with the murders, entered a not guilty plea during his initial hearing.
He is currently being held at the White County Jail after being arrested on Oct. 26.
According to McLeland, the man is being held without bond and is due to return to court in January.
“We cannot discuss the evidence in the probable cause” affidavit, McLeland said.
Allen’s status as a suspect and whether he knew Abby or Libby were not disclosed by the prosecutor.
He called the arrest a “step in the right direction”.