Libby German's sister tweets, 'Today is the day'
DELPHI, Ind. (WLS) -- Indiana State Police announced Monday that Richard Allen has been arrested and charged in the 2017 murders of two teenage girls in Delphi, Indiana.
For the past five and half years, the families of Abby Williams and Libby German have been holding onto hope and searching for answers into who killed their daughters in February 2017.
Monday morning an emotional Indiana State Police superintendent Doug Carter finally announced charges against 50-year-old Allen.
Allen is charged with two counts of murder. He was booked into the Carroll County Jail on Friday and was moved to another state facility for his safety, police said. He pleaded not guilty, was ordered held without bond and is due back in court in January 2023.
"I had always told everybody that when there's an arrest, you're going to hear me across the country. But it just didn't feel that way," said Becky Patty, German's grandmother. "It's the beginning of a final chapter, I guess."
The Carol County prosecutor did not give any details surrounding the case or what evidence they have against Allen, or how police even found him.
The probable cause affidavit is currently sealed, with authorities saying the investigation is far from over.
Police said Allen is from Delphi, and would have been familiar with the area around the Monon High Bridge where the girls went hiking on Feb. 13, 2017 and were found dead a day later on Feb. 14.
"That's going to take a while to process, but we're going to get through the trial and we'll have more to say," Supt. Carter said.
"This community has been scared. He's been walking among them just unknown," said James Wright, who lives in Lafayette.
In an eerie twist, a photo of Richard Allen shows him at a local bar he frequented, sitting in front of one of the police sketches of the killer on the wall behind him.
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Allen worked at a CVS in Delphi, the company said. In a statement, CVS said, "As members of the Carroll County community, we remain devastated by these murders and our hearts go out to the German and Williams families. We are shocked and saddened to learn that one of our store employees was arrested as a suspect in these crimes. We stand ready to cooperate with the police investigation in any way we can."
ABC7 has also found he had a limited criminal history.
The high-profile murder case has generated mountains of online speculation about who killed the two girls.
One key piece of evidence was audio clips and photos from Libby's phone. In the recording, a man, assumed to be the suspect, instructed the girls to go, "down the hill."
Police had also released two different sketches of potential suspects over the past five years. There were many instances where thousands tips would come in authorities thought they had a break in the case. But, it never amounted to anything, until Monday.
"It was a very personal moment for me and I think it was a very personal moment for them, for all of us that have had interaction with the family," Indiana State police Superintendent Doug Carter. "We developed a relationship that I think will last at least one lifetime and maybe a second. It was a very, very yet humbling experience."
Libby's sister Kelsi tweeted, "just know how grateful I am for all of you."
"We've never forgotten them," Delphi resident John Rowe said. "Everybody's going to keep them in their minds forever."
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In the meantime, police said they are still keeping the tip line open and emphasized that their investigation is not closed. They welcome any and all further tips, Indiana State Police said.
Police have not ruled out someone else possibly being involved in the murders.
Last month the hosts of the true crime podcast "The Murder Sheet" took photographs of investigators scouring the Wabash River, near Peru, Indiana, about 40 miles from where Abby and Libby's bodies were found.
The podcasters said he search took place just a few miles from the family home of 28-year-old Kegan Kline, who was arrested two years ago and charged with child pornography and child exploitation in a separate case to which he's pleaded not guilty.
According to authorities, Kline admitted to using a phony social media account with the handle "anthony_shots" to communicate with minors.
"He created a completely false persona for himself," said Kevin Greenlee, co-host of "The Murder Sheet." "And we know that the Anthony Shots account was actually in communication with Liberty German, who was one of the victims in this case."
Kline has denied any involvement in the murders.
ABC News' Alex Perez contributed to this report.