The affidavit, published by the Daily Beast, reveals that Allen admitted to being on the Indiana hiking trail where 13-year-old Libby German and her best friend Abby Williams were last seen alive and where their bodies were found on February 14, 2017. Video surveillance from the Hoosier Harvestore, a machine repair company in Delphi, and an unspent bullet found at the scene, all point to Allen as the killer, police say in the affidavit.
After the teens’ bodies were found, police pulled evidence from Libby’s phone, including photos of a potential suspect and an audio recording of a man saying “down the hill.” Multiple witnesses reported seeing a man matching the description of the one seen in the photo on the trail within the timeframe that the girls would have been killed, according to the affidavit.
Other witnesses mentioned seeing an automobile parked near an old building that police believe belonged to Allen, whose vehicle was seen traveling westbound in front of the Hoosier Harvestore at 1:27 p.m. Allen said he arrived at the trails around 1:30 p.m.
Allen said he went to the trails on February 13th and on to the Monon High Bridge to watch the fish. This is the same bridge where the teen girls went for a walk. Allen also told investigators that he owned firearms and knives.
On October 13, 2022, more than five years after the girls were murdered, police executed a search warrant of Allen’s home and found numerous weapons, including a Sig Sauer Model P226 .40 caliber pistol.
“Between October 14, 2022 and October 19, 2022 the Indiana State Police Laboratory performed an analysis on Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226. The Laboratory performed a physical examination and classification of the firearm, function test, barrel and overall length measurement, test firing, ammunition component characterization, microscopic comparison, and [National Integrated Ballistic Information Network],” the affidavit said. “The Laboratory determined the unspent round located within two feet of Victim 2’s body had been cycled through Richard M. Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226.”
Investigators learned that Allen purchased the firearm in 2001, and he told him during a voluntary interview with the Indiana State Police on October 26, 2022, that he “never allowed anyone to use or borrow” that particular weapon. At the time, however, he denied any involvement in the murders of the two teen girls but couldn’t explain how the bullet was found between their bodies.
Definitively proving an unspent bullet came from a particular gun is not as simple as the affidavit makes it seem, according to Stephen Gutowski, a certified firearms instructor and reporter who founded The Reload.
“The forensic techniques used by crime labs to match specific guns to specific bullets have come under heavy scrutiny in recent years,” Gutowski told The Daily Wire. “So, I think it’s important to examine claims like this with a healthy dose of skepticism. The idea you could match a mark on the rim of a casing to a specific gun’s extractor seems dubious to me.”
“I could see an argument that an extractor on a certain model of gun could leave a unique marking on an unspent round if the round were cycled through the firearm since the extractor may have dimensions that are different from other firearms,” he added. “However, the Sig Sauer P226 has been an incredibly popular firearm for decades, and it’s unlikely the mass-produced extractors included on each pistol would leave a marking that’s obviously distinguishable from another P226.”
The affidavit also highlights the unreliability of witness testimony. Allen said he witnessed three juvenile females while walking the trail, and those three described a man they saw walking alone, believed to be Allen. One of the girls said the man she saw was wearing “like blue jeans a like really light blue jacket.” Another said the man wore a black hoodie, black jeans, and black boots. The third girl described the man as wearing a blue or black windbreaker jacket and baggy jeans.
Witnesses also described seeing a vehicle parked at an old Child Protective Services building near the trails. One witness said he saw a purple PT Cruiser or small SUV backed up to the building. Another witness described it as possibly being a “smart” car.
Allen owned two vehicles in 2017, a 2016 black Ford Focus and a 2006 gray Ford 500, according to the affidavit. Investigators saw a car resembling Allen’s Ford Focus traveling in front of the Hoosier Harvestore store. They also suggest the witness descriptions of the vehicle “are similar in nature to a 2016 Ford Focus.” A Ford Focus is described as a compact vehicle, but it is not small or distinct enough to be confused for a “smart” car. It is also not large or distinct enough to be confused with a PT Cruiser or an SUV.
The affidavit makes multiple notes that Allen was the only male seen in the vicinity of the crime at the time the murders were alleged to have occurred. Yet, last week, prosecutors in court suggested they believe a second person may have been involved, The Daily Wire reported.
The news surprised not only those following the case but also Allen’s defense attorney, who said as much to reporters outside the courtroom.
“If you read the probable cause affidavit it does not mention anything about any other person. That was news to us,” defense attorney Andrew Baldwin said.