The man who allegedly murdered two teenage girls in Delphi, Indiana, is now in state custody after a judge determined the suspect and even the court to be at risk. Richard Matthew Allen, 50, is with the Indiana Department of Correction, and authorities released his new mugshot on Monday.
Allen is charged as the person who murdered Liberty “Libby” German, 14 and Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and abandoned their bodies near an old railroad deck girder bridge that is now a recreational trail. The girls vanished while walking the Monon High Bridge Trail near Delphi, Indiana, on Feb. 13, 2017. The trail traverses an abandoned stretch of the old Monon Railroad and is named accordingly. The authorities have indicated that the girls likely lost a considerable amount of blood, that the girls’ bodies were “moved and staged” where they were found, and that the killer or killers took a souvenir from the scene.
The investigation stretched on for years, with the barest hints as to who killed them. The authorities did release a few terse seconds of a recording made by victim Libby German herself.
“Guys, down the hill,” says a mysterious and allegedly threatening man wearing jeans, a hat, and a blue jacket. The authorities have long indicated that they believe German recorded a key suspect in her eventual murder.
The case of two young girls senselessly and mysteriously killed captured national attention and rocked the small community of Delphi. The surrounding Carroll County had 20,444 people, according to a 2021 estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Authorities haven’t said much of anything about their evidence against Allen since they arrested him. A court approved a petition on Oct. 28 to seal records pending a public hearing.
“Court finds that probable cause does exist,” online records state. “Court sets bond in the sum of twenty million dollars cash or corporate surety. ”
Allen briefly ended up in the custody of the White County Sheriff’s Department before being transferred into state custody. Authorities won’t reveal his present whereabouts.
“For Mr. Allen’s safety, we are not releasing his location at this time,” IDOC Communications Director Gregory Dunn told Law&Crime in an email on Monday.
Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin A. Diener recused himself shortly after approving Allen’s transfer to state custody. In an order, he stated the Indiana Supreme Court should select a special judge outside of the county to hear the case. It was initially unclear why he decided to step down, but his decision followed him voicing frustration to a court spokesperson about all the media and public attention on the case. He reportedly included local outlet WTHR on an email.
Judge Diener reportedly complained that his court reporter was a brand new hire, that his “bailiff answers the phone” and “has no experience and no knowledge about legal process,” and that his court administrator had to split her duties with other courts.
“That is it,” Judge Diener wrote, according to WTHR’s report. “So. I am begging for some assistance to shield me, the Court, from this storm so that I, the Court, can keep running the Court. Otherwise, I’ll do what? Read to everyone Rule 6A of Indiana Rules of Court: Rules on Access to Court Records and explain to everyone that the Supreme Court and statute allows for this precise relief.”
“The public’s blood lust for information, before it exists, is extremely dangerous,” Diener wrote in his ruling to transfer Allen to state custody. “ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS administering this action do not feel safe and are not protected.”
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
[Image of Allen via Indiana Department of Correction; images of German and Williams via the FBI]
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