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Ind. teens saw man with gun before they were killed, new document says

A memorial to Liberty German and Abigail Williams where their bodies were discovered in Delphi, Ind. (Michael Conroy/AP)

Nearly six years ago, volunteers searching for two missing teenage girls found their bodies in the woods, leaving the small Indiana town where they lived waiting for answers on what happened to 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams.

Last month, investigators charged 50-year-old Richard M. Allen with two counts of murder in their killings, though at the time, officials provided few details about what evidence had led to the arrest. On Tuesday, a court document outlining that evidence was unsealed, revealing new details about an unspent bullet, witness descriptions of the day the girls went missing and more about a video of the suspect recovered from Liberty’s cellphone.

Andrew Baldwin, an attorney representing Allen, did not immediately respond to a phone message late Tuesday seeking comment on the new details. Baldwin told reporters after a Nov. 22 court hearing that the defense team was “anxious” for the public to read the affidavit, WTHR reported.

“That’s how confident we are that the evidence, at least what’s written in the probable cause affidavit, is nothing for us to worry about,” Baldwin said.

Allen has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The teens, who lived in Delphi, Ind., were reported missing by their families after they didn’t come home from a hike on the Delphi Historic Trails on Feb. 13, 2017. The search party found their bodies in a wooded area near the trail the next day.

The newly unsealed affidavit says a single unspent bullet was discovered between their bodies. The document alleges that the bullet came from a handgun found at Allen’s home after a search warrant was executed there last month.

Police first interviewed Allen, who is from Delphi, in 2017 because he had been on the trail for two hours the day the girls went missing, according to the document. But investigators did not speak with him again until Oct. 13, 2022.

Suspect Richard Allen arrested in 2017 killings of 2 teens in Indiana

According to the document, Allen told an officer in 2017 that he saw three women while there but did not speak to them and did not see anyone else because “he was watching a stock ticker on his phone” while walking.

The document details interviews with three witnesses under 18 who were together on the trail and had seen a man walking on Freedom Bridge on Feb. 13, 2017, but the affidavit did not specify whether this group was the same one Allen saw. One witness told police she said hi to a man on the bridge, “but he just glared” at the group. She added that he was wearing all black, with something covering his mouth. Another witness said the man they saw was wearing all black, but the third witness described a man in jeans and a blue jacket. It’s unclear when the interviews occurred.

The man was “kind of creepy,” one of the three unnamed witnesses said. Someone else who was on the trail, according to the document, said they saw a man wearing a blue jacket and jeans who was “muddy and bloody” and “appeared he had gotten into a fight.”

Another witness said she saw a man who matched the one seen in the evidence recovered from Liberty’s cellphone, which police shared days after the killings in hopes that the public’s help would lead to an arrest.

The video recovered from her phone showed a man wearing blue jeans and a blue coat or jacket. A week later, police released a recording of what they said might have been the killer’s voice from the same video.

In the recording, a male voice appeared to say, “Down the hill.”

But that wasn’t all of the audio. According to the newly unsealed affidavit, Liberty’s video shows a man walking toward the girls and one of the girls is heard saying “gun.”

Then, the document says, the male voice can be heard instructing the girls to go down the hill, before they are seen doing so and the video ends. While a detailed description of the video was outlined in the affidavit, officials have not released the full recording to the public.

Officials praised Liberty for using her phone to document the man on the trail.

“This young lady is a hero, there’s no doubt,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum said when a portion of the video was released in 2017. “To have enough presence of mind to activate that video system on her cellphone, to record what we believe is criminal behavior that’s about to occur.”

Police have released a new clue in the deaths of two girls — a chilling recording of three words

Police interviewed Allen again last month after investigators reviewing old tips found a note an officer had made about Allen’s initial 2017 statement.

In the second interview, Allen told police that he had been wearing blue jeans and a blue or black Carhartt jacket on the trail and restated that he had not seen anyone other than the group of three he’d mentioned in the interview five years prior. He also said he owned firearms.

His wife, Kathy Allen, told investigators that he owned guns, knives and a blue Carhartt jacket.

Upon conducting a search warrant at Allen’s home on Oct. 13, police found “jackets, boots, knives and firearms,” including a .40 caliber pistol, according to the new document. Between Oct. 14 and 19, lab analysis confirmed that the bullet found between the bodies of Liberty and Abigail had been “cycled through” the pistol, which Allen purchased in 2001, the affidavit states.

In a subsequent interview on Oct. 26, the affidavit says, Allen told authorities he did not know Liberty or Abigail and “denied any involvement in their murders.”

“Richard Allen stated that he had not been on that property where the unspent round was found, that he did not know the property owner, and that he had no explanation as to why a round cycled through his firearm would be at that location,” the affidavit states. It also says Allen told police that he “never allowed anyone to use or borrow” the pistol.

The video from Liberty’s phone ended at 2:13 p.m., and none of the witnesses saw Allen on the trail after that time “because he was in the woods with Victim and Victim 2,” the affidavit alleges.

Authorities have not released details about cause of the girls’ deaths, and their autopsies have remained under seal since the investigation began.

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