The killings were dubbed the ‘Snapchat Murders’ as the girls shared images of themselves in the minutes before they were accosted
Richard Allen (50), from Delphi, Indiana was arrested on Friday night and booked in Carroll County Jail in connection with the murders.
He was later moved to a state facility over fears for his safety.
The announcement was made a press conference today.
Visibility shaken as he took to the podium, through tears, Superintendent of ISP Doug Carter who has been at the forefront of the investigation since 2017 said that 2086 days after the murder, they finally had a suspect charged and in custody.
The case has been dissected online on numerous forums, Carter asked the public to understand that they have to continue to keep details of the case under wraps to protect its integrity.
“All persons arrested are presumed innocent,” he warned.
Allen has entered a not-guilty plea. A pre-trial hearing is set for January 13th 2023 at 9am, with a preliminary trial date set for March 20th 2023 at 9am.
The probable cause affidavit is currently sealed, with evidence in the case not being made available at present. There will be a public hearing to decide whether or not they should remain sealed.
Teenagers Abigail Williams (13) and Liberty German (14) were found dead near Monon High Bridge in their small town of Delphi, Indiana, less than a day after they failed to meet family after they went for a hike on February 13th 2017.
Their manner of death has never been revealed.
It comes after multiple law enforcement agencies announced on Friday that an update in the case would be made via a press conference in the small town today.
Reacting to the news of the arrest on Friday, Liberty German’s grandmother, who shared a picture to social media every day since their murders that said: ‘Today’s the day,’ in reference to hopes that news would soon come of an arrest in the case said: “I guess I am kind of at a loss.”
“Every morning I get up - get my coffee - and start looking for which photo will be the today is the day post. Now I sit here not needing to do it because at long last we have a face to go with our monster,” she said.
“I sit here wondering - now what. Where do we go from here? I realize our lives have again made a big change - we have a very difficult path to start down. It is a path we will gladly face as we know each step taken is one step closer to our monster being convicted.”
“Knowing that makes that walk so much easier,” she continued.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported and prayed for our girls daily for 51/2 years - who never gave up! Who grew to love them.”
“I know they are smiling down on the world today knowing it is now a little bit safer. Thank you,” she added.
The case, which has captured attention across the United States, and much of the world, has remained unsolved for over five years.
Police previously released footage recorded by the victims of their killer stalking them as they crossed on Monon High Bridge in Delphi.
The killings, dubbed the ‘Snapchat Murders’ due to the fact the girls shared images of themselves to the social media site in the minutes before they were likely accosted, has intrigued the public because despite the amount of recognisable information available about the perpetrator, yet for years he remained identified.
Fear gripped their families when they failed to meet Liberty’s father for a lift home after their hike.
When word spread that the girls, known lovingly by friends and family as Abby and Libby, were missing, the police and the public began combing the area they were last seen looking for any sign of the friends.
As darkness fell, the search was called off to resume the following day. The next day, the girl's bodies were found near Deer Creek by the search party, and the evidence found on Libby’s phone chilled law enforcement to the bone.
After examining the teen’s iPhone, Police found video footage and a voice recording of their killer.
In the voice recording, which was released just days after the bodies of Abby and Libby were found, the perpetrator can be heard instructing them: “Down the hill.”
A short snippet of the video which was not released until two years later in 2019 showed their killer as he walked across Monon High Bridge in pursuit of his victims. They also released additional audio which heard the killer say: “Guys, down the hill.”
It is believed that Libby covertly recorded their killer, and while police and their families have seen or heard more from the recording, what it contains is not publicly available information.
The public were however told that the man in the video is also the man from the recording.
The last major development in the case came in November 2021, when authorities in Indiana requested that anyone who interacted with a catfish using a social media account with the username anthony_shots to come forward.
The account used images of a male model unrelated to the case, and it was soon revealed that the man behind the fake account was a man named Kegan Anthony Kline from 40 minutes away in Peru, Indiana.
On February 25 2017, just days into the murder investigation Kline’s home was searched by the FBI and four phones, a tablet and an iPod touch were seized and examined.
Authorities found that the phones contained message exchanges with underage girls as well as videos and images of child sex abuse material.
In an interview, Kline admitted to police that he was the man behind the sinister social media accounts on Kik Messenger, Snapchat and Instagram. He also admitted that he used the accounts to communicate with underage girls.
However, while the anthony_shots account is related to the case, police have not revealed in what capacity.
According to the search warrant, the intelligence pertaining to Kline’s criminal activity was discovered while investigating a separate Indiana State Police case.
While the document has redacted information in relation to the other case, it is believed that the investigation into the murders led detectives to information about Kline’s fake social media accounts.