DELPHI — Although a suspect has been arrested in connection with the high-profile murders of Abby Williams and Libby German, police have not disclosed any evidence linking the person to the actual crimes. On Monday, at a press conference, authorities identified the suspect as Richard M. Allen and released his image. The suspect, a man in his 50s who lived within a mile of the school where Libby and Abby were killed, is a native of Delphi.
Some members of the public, including a former prosecutor, have expressed concern over the investigation’s lack of information. An Indianapolis lawyer who was the Lake County prosecutor for a decade remarked, “This press conference produced far more questions than it supplied answers.” Jack Crawford. Is the reason for the secrecy the presence of a third party?
The question Crawford had was, “If that’s the case, is there another child killer on the loose in Carroll County?” The whole public should be aware of these facts. The charging information and probable cause affidavit are court documents that detail the evidence the state has acquired against an individual when they are charged with a felony. On Monday, Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland said he had asked a judge to conceal both documents.
Crawford remarked that such records are usually available to the general public. For a decade, I served as Gary’s chief prosecutor. Crawford claimed, “I probably charged a thousand individuals with murder.” We never once forbade the public from reviewing the probable cause affidavit while the suspect was in custody.
Many questions were not resolved at the press conference on Monday. Exactly how do we know they’ve got the appropriate person under suspicion? The question is, what proof do we have that Allen was involved in the murders? Have we reached the DNA stage? So, do you have something to say?
Is there enough evidence to justify the death penalty being sought against Allen, or is the link between the two parties so tenuous that the case might easily fall apart if it were brought to light? Doug Kouns, a former FBI agent who now owns a private investigation firm in Carmel, said, “I know people are definitely dissatisfied with the lack of information that’s being put out.”
“It may jeopardize the probe.” Former FBI agent Kouns retired in 2018, therefore he was never directly involved in this case. He defended the investigation team, saying they’ve been cautious and trustworthy throughout. According to Kouns, “they were able to convince a judge that we have enough evidence to proceed forward.”
“I don’t think they would have proceeded forward unless (the evidence) was really substantial, just the size of this case and the publicity that it’s gotten,” the witness said. The prosecutor for Carroll County, McLeland, has stated that the investigation is ongoing and that no more suspects have been ruled out.
McLeland urged the public to keep calling with reports, not only about Richard Allen but about anyone they might know. Considering the seriousness of the allegations, the court has decided to keep the probable cause and charge documents under secrecy.
Allen, 50, is accused of killing Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14, two of his former students. Off a trail near the Monon High Bridge in Delphi, on Valentine’s Day 2017, the bodies of two young women were discovered.
McLeland said a hearing would be held before a judge to decide whether or not the data should be sealed, but no date has been scheduled yet. An initial court appearance for Allen is planned for January 13. McLeland remarked, “Everyone wants to know more information.” I know it’s irritating, but protecting the legitimacy of this case is my first priority.