DELPHI, Ind. — The probable cause affidavit released Tuesday claimed an unused round of ammunition was found between the bodies of two girls in February 2017.
Forensic experts scientifically linked the bullet to the gun found in Delphi murders suspect Richard Allen’s home when they searched it, the affidavit said. That gun was a .40 caliber Sig Sauer P226.
Allen faces two counts of murder for the Feb. 13, 2017, deaths of 13-year-old Abigail “Abby” Williams and 14-year-old Liberty “Libby” German near Delphi. Allen was arrested in the case on Oct. 28.
Guy Relford is a gun range instructor and a defense attorney who handles gun cases exclusively. He is not a part of the Delphi murders investigation. He told I-Team 8 that it is possible to link an unused round specifically to one gun. “It’s been accepted in courts that, with the right level of magnification and the right analysis, it can be as conclusive as fingerprints.”
There are a few reasons why an unspent round might be ejected. “It could be a malfunction. It could be to induce fear in someone,” Relford said.
When a shell casing, either used or unused, is ejected from a gun, it creates a unique signature on the casing.
“When that little metal claw made contact with that metal shell casing, part of the cartridge, it left a mark,” Relford said.
Just because the affidavit said the unspent round belonged to Allen’s gun doesn’t mean it is his. Even the affidavit called the bullet identification subjective in nature.
According to Relford, the validity of where the round came from could come down to expert witness testimony about how the round was analyzed and the level of magnification used to look at it.
“You could very easily have defense experts say it’s not as reliable and it’s not as conclusive and shouldn’t be the basis for a jury finding beyond a reasonable doubt that someone committed a crime,” Relford said.
- PDF: Gull approves release of a version of the probable cause affidavit for Richard Allen
- PDF: Redacted probable cause affidavit for Richard Allen
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Carroll County judge who’d cited the “public’s blood lust for information” in the Delphi murders case has recused himself from the case, the Indiana Supreme Court said Thursday.
Carroll Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Diener’s recusal came the same day he’d approved a request from Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby to transfer Richard Allen, the suspect in the 2017 Delphi murders of two girls, to the Indiana Department of Corrections.
Abigail “Abby” Williams and LIberty “Libby” German were last seen on the afternoon of Feb. 13, 2017. They had been dropped off near the Monon High Bridge near Delphi. The next day, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office announced that it was looking for the girls. A command post was set up and the community worked to locate the girls. Their bodies were located around 12:15 p.m. that day.
Kathryn Dolan, chief public information officer for the Indiana Supreme Court, said in a Thursday email to the news media that judges do not “not have to explain a reason for recusal.”
In the order to move Allen to a state prison, Diener wrote, “This FINDING is not predicated on any acts or alleged acts of the Defendant, since arrest, rather a toxic and harmful insistence on ‘public information’ about Defendant and this case.”
Diener also wrote about YouTube creators posting videos about him.
“While this officer is responsible for the entirety of the Circuit Court docket it attempts to ignore the maelstrom of ‘interest’ from the public, it is known that YouTube already hosts content regarding family members of this judicial officer, including photos,” Diener wrote. “The public’s blood lust for information, before it exists, is extremely dangerous. ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS administering this action do not feel safe and are not protected.”
As a result of Diener dropping the case, the Indiana Supreme Court will appoint a special judge.
Dolan said the Indiana Supreme Court has appointed Frances C. “Fran” Gull, criminal division administrative judge in Allen County, to hear the case of Allen’s murder charge.
Gull began with the Allen Superior Court in January 1997, according to her online biography. The judge was a semifinalist for the Indiana Supreme Court in 2012.
While Allen was arrested on Oct. 28, a probable cause affidavit has not yet been made public. It is not yet known how police linked him to the case. A hearing regarding the documents has been scheduled for Nov. 22.
- Indiana police superintendent: Delphi murders’ facts ‘will come out at the trial, not until then’
- Why are the court documents sealed in the Delphi murders?
- After Delphi murders arrest, Libby’s family calls it ‘somewhat bittersweet’
- Drugstore worker’s arrest in Delphi murders stuns residents
DELPHI, Ind. (WISH) — People in Delphi say the community is far from closure despite an arrest announcement in the 2017 murders of two girls, Abigail “Abby” Williams and Liberty “Libby” German.
Several big questions have been left unanswered: Are other people possibly involved in the case? What’s next for the girls’ families?
Rick Snay told us Monday that he is a friend of Liberty German’s family – and spoke about bringing justice to the family.
“If there’s anyone else involved, we will get them and the families can have peace,” said Snay, after Monday’s Indiana State Police news conference that announced last week’s arrest.
Abby and Libby were last seen on the afternoon of Feb. 13, 2017. They had been dropped off near the Monon High Bridge near Delphi. The next day, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office announced that it was looking for the girls. A command post was set up and the community worked to locate the girls. Their bodies were located around 12:15 p.m. that day.
Richard Allen, 50, has been arrested and charged with their murders, but police are not releasing any more information on the case at this time, including court documents on Allen.
Snay said, “I’ve been working this case for five years and I’ve never … I’ve heard the name one time very early on, and nobody knew who he was.”
“We have the right to know within 24 hours, what led them to arrest this man in this country and in this state. I understand what they’re doing. I understand why they’re doing it, but it just doesn’t sit right,” Snay said Monday.
Áine Cain, a journalist at the Murder Sheet podcast, told News 8 on Tuesday, “There may be other things that they are trying to get together and what does that mean? Could it mean other suspects being involved or accomplices or nailing down pieces of evidence to ensure that their case is very strong going into trial?”
In Monday’s news conference, state police said it was not the day to release that information, so people are now turning their attention to the potential trial.
Attorney Kevin Greenlee at the Murder Sheet podcast, said Tuesday, “These people know the amount of tension that’s been focused on this case, and I don’t believe they would have moved forward with an arrest unless they were confident that they had the evidence needed to secure a conviction.”
Public reaction to the lack of information on the case has been mixed. Jan Dowell, a West Lafayette resident, said while visiting Delphi on Tuesday, “People are innocent until they are proven guilty, so, if it turns out this isn’t the person, then maybe they might have leaked out something that would be important to find the person.”
Community members say they remain hopeful for the families of Abby and Libby.
- After Delphi murders arrest, Libby’s family calls it ‘somewhat bittersweet’
- Drugstore worker’s arrest in Delphi murders stuns residents
New Orleans came to us today on “Life.Style.Live!,” and this weekend it’s coming to Delphi!
Robin Williams of Delphi Opera House and Patti Brown of Treasures “In the Woods” Restaurant in Delphi joined us today to share what you can expect at the city’s Mardi Gras events and to give us a taste of delicacies offered on Mardi Gras at several restaurants throughout the city. Here’s more from them:
We are really excited that our inaugural Mardi Gras Blues Ball concert has inspired a City-Wide Celebration in Delphi.
There are two signature events featured on Saturday, February 26th. The Mardi Gras Delphi Parade takes place at 12 noon on the downtown Delphi Parade Route.
Regional businesses and civic groups will sponsor wagon “floats” and throw signature items and/or beads.
The Mardi Gras Blues Ball fundraiser at the Delphi Opera House starts at 6:30 pm and will feature New Orleans cuisine, a cocktail hour and costume contest, followed by the concert featuring Duke Tumatoe and Mike Milligan.
For more information visit:
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — News 8 tracked down the man whose photos were being used by Kegan Kline through a fake Instagram account under the name “anthony_shots” to solicit explicit content from young girls on Instagram from 2016-2017.
Police came across the Instagram profile while investigating the murders of Abby Williams and Libby German.
Police investigating the murders of teenagers Abigail “Abby” Williams and Liberty “Libby” German near Delphi in February 2017 say the fictitious profile used photos in 2016 and 2017 of a male model. The model is not a person of interest in the investigation, but investigators want to identify the person who created the fictitious social media accounts on Snapchat, Instagram and other social media sites, said a news release issued Monday night by Indiana State Police.
The creator of the “anthony_shots” profile portrays himself “as being extremely wealthy and owning numerous sports cars,” the release said. “The creator of the fictitious profile used this information while communicating with juvenile females to solicit nude images, obtain their addresses, and attempt to meet them.”
Abigail, 13, and Libby, 14, went out on the Monon High Bridge trail near Delphi for a walk on Feb. 13, 2017, and what happened next is mostly a mystery. The next day, their bodies were found nearby.
Photos used in the fictitious profile were shared Monday night by state police. Those photos were part of a YouTube video released by state police, which is investigating the case with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
The man seen in the photos is actually a police officer in Alaska and a model. The photos that were used by the “anthony_shots” account ran by Kline date back to at least 2016. News 8 is not sharing his name or personal information to protect his identity.
He was shocked to find out that his photos were being scalped from his profile and used to commit such horrid crimes against children thousands of miles from where he lives. He reached out to police after finding out about the profile.
News 8 exchanged messages with him after this week’s developments. He said, “I am very heartbroken to hear what happened to those two girls, as i have two daughters myself. I’m in contact with the Indiana State (Police) and am helping in any way possible.”
Based on his previous posts this is not the first time the man’s photos have been used to create a fake online profile. He shared that previously his photos were used to create fake online dating profiles as well.
Anyone with information was asked to contact email@example.com or 765-822-3535, and provide as much information as possible, such as when and how you communicated with “anthony_shots,” what social media apps were used, and if “anthony_shots” attempted to meet you or get your address. “If you have saved images or conversations with the anthony_shots profile, please attach them to your email,” the release said.
Below are images shared by state police.
- New question emerges in Delphi murders: Who runs fake profile ‘anthony_shots’?
- Man behind ‘anthony_shots’ account charged for child porn; docs don’t tie him to Delphi case
- Here is why gaining access to social media accounts is tough for police
- Delphi murders’ investigation examines fake social media account
Timeline of events
- Feb. 13, 2017 – Abby and Libby are dropped off at the Monon High Bridge Trail and are not there when family comes to pick them up.
- Feb. 14, 2017 – The girls’ bodies are found.
- Feb. 15, 2017 – Police release photos of a man wanted for questioning, later considered the main suspect.
- Feb. 22, 2017 – Police release an audio file they say may contain the suspect’s voice saying “down the hill.”
- May 13, 2017 – A celebration of life is held for the girls.
- June 16, 2017 – Police reach 18,000 tips received.
- July 18, 2017 – Police add staff to analyze the high volume of tips.
- Oct. 3, 2017 – Indiana State Police visit Colorado to investigate Daniel Nations after receiving a tip.
- Nov. 11, 2017 – Carroll County Prosecutor Rob Ives announces he’s stepping down.
- Jan. 1, 2018 – New prosecutor Nicholas McLeland takes the post.
- Jan. 16, 2018 – The owner of the property where the girls’ bodies were found is ordered to home detention.
- Jan. 17, 2018 – The families of the girls give interviews with national news outlets in hopes of bringing attention to the case.
- Feb. 13, 2018 – ISP superintendent speaks on murders one year later.
- April 22, 2019 – ISP releases new sketch and video clip.
- April 24, 2019 – ISP clarifies reasons for release of second sketch.
- April 30, 2019 – The sheriff asks to stop post images of possible suspects.
- July 10, 2019 – Libby’s sister addresses rumors during a livestream.
- Jan. 8, 2020 – Delphi gets a new police chief.
- April 5, 2021 – The reward for information in the Delphi murders grows to $325,000.
- Dec. 6, 2021 – Police seek help to identify the creator of a social media account for “anthony_shots.”
DELPHI, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Carroll County Economic Development Corp. is announcing the resignation of its Executive Director Laura Walls. The organization says Walls, who joined the EDC in 2010, will step down October 15.
A reason for Walls’ resignation was not given. During her 10 years as executive director, the organization says Walls helped increase the county’s marketing and outreach efforts.
“Speaking both for myself and the EDC Board of Directors, we are pleased with what the Carroll County EDC has accomplished during Laura’s tenure as Executive Director. Laura took the EDC to the “next level” as a professional participant in the State and National Economic Development arena. We are sad to see her go and wish Laura all the best in the next chapter of her career,” said Bret Rinehart, president of the Carroll County Economic Development Corp.
Walls’ tenure also includes the 2012 Stellar Community announcement, a nearly $20 million grant that resulted in the restoration of the Delphi Opera House.
The EDC did not detail any plans to search for a new executive director.
DELPHI, Ind. (WISH) — A rural Monticello man died Thursday night in a crash in rural Carroll County, the county sheriff’s office said.
Rodney Lucas, 50, died in the single-vehicle crash. Authorities said he appeared to have been ejected from a 2000 BWM car as it flipped end over end. The county coroner pronounced Lucas dead at the scene.
Carroll County E911 shortly before 7:45 p.m. Thursday received a report of a car in a deep ditch on the north side of County Road 700 North east of County Road 900 West. That’s a rural area about 5 miles northwest of Delphi, the sheriff’s office said.
“The only occupant and driver was located a few feet from the car, in the ditch,” said a news release from the sheriff’s office.
Alcohol, speed and the lack of a seat belt were believed to be factors in the crash.
Witnesses saw Lucas driving erratically prior to the crash, going back and forth between the eastbound and westbound lanes of 700 North. “The BMW was then seen riding atop the guardrail, for a short distance, before going off into the ditch. The BMW then continued in a westerly direction in the ditch and began flipping, end over end, eventually coming to rest,” the news release said.
DELPHI, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Two major Indiana pork producers are getting back to work in limited capacity after suspending operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tyson Fresh Meats resumed operations Thursday at its Logansport facility, while Indiana Packers Corp. says work will resume Friday at its location in Delphi.
Indiana Packers says it is reopening with support from the Carroll County Department of Health after suspending production two weeks ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company says it worked with the county health department and the Indiana State Department of Health to test more than 2,200 employees and contractors who work at the facility. The testing was completed May 1.
The effort found 301 employees and contractors who tested positive for the coronavirus, including some who were asymptomatic. The company says those people will be subject to quarantine and those who tested negative will be allowed to return to work as long as they are not symptomatic.
County Health Officer Dr. Jordan Dutter says he toured the plant Wednesday and reviewed the safety initiatives undertaken by the company.
“I was very impressed with IPC’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus and the Company’s dedication to best ensure the health and safety of its team members,” Dutter said in a news release. “Based upon my tour and review of IPC’s mitigation efforts, I believe the measures taken by IPC will allow those team members to work safely, as IPC continues to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations. I want to reiterate that IPC went to extensive efforts to ensure the safety of their employees, their end product and ultimately the consumers.”
Among the steps taken, IPC says it has added more physical barriers and hand sanitizer for employees. The company has also implemented several steps of deep cleaning and sanitation throughout the plant.
The company says it will work to increase physical distancing starting in the parking lot and entrances, continuing with staggered start and break times.
“This pause in operations and the testing of our employees was absolutely a critical moment in our ongoing effort to create a safe work environment,” said IPC President and Chief Operating Officer Russ Yearwood. “The safety of our team members, contractors and the community are crucial. We suspected the testing process would generate an increase in positive cases unknown to us, but this was the point. This voluntary testing event identified those who are positive for the virus.”
Tyson originally planned to reopen operations on Monday, however a spokesperson tells Inside INdiana Business employees returned to work on Thursday. The plant also closed two weeks ago after a large number of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.
“All employees who have tested positive will remain on sick leave until they have satisfied official health requirements outlined by the CDC for return to work, and we have increased short-term disability coverage to 90% of normal pay until June 30 to encourage team members to stay home when they are sick,” the spokesperson said.
Tyson says employees who have not been tested will be unable to return to work until they test negative. All new hires will be tested before starting at the plant.
The company says it has implemented safety precautions as employees returned to work, including protective social distancing measures, an on-site mobile health clinic that will provide services such as COVID-19 testing, providing facial coverings and requiring they be worn, and wellness checks to screen for symptoms.
The decisions to reopen comes just over a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order ordering meat packing plants to remain open.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two Indiana meat plants temporarily closed over coronavirus concerns account for approximately 9% of the nation’s pork processing capacity, experts said.
Company officials were unable to confirm reopening dates for the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Logansport or the Indiana Packers facility in Delphi.
Operations at both were suspended after employees tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in further supply chain disruptions in an already unstable market.
“Fifteen of the largest pork packing plants process 60% of all hogs in this country,” said Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and head of the agricultural economics department at Purdue University. “So if you lose one, it could have a really big impact on the market. With COVID-19, it’s not just one; we’ve seen several of these plants go down.”
He warned consumers to prepare for slight increases in meat prices and decreased product selection with more than a fifth of the nation’s pork processing capacity offline.
A “massive chain reaction” of industry disruptions began when sickened slaughterhouse employees were unable to work, Lusk said.
Plant operators ordered temporary shutdowns to clean facilities and protect workers, leaving some farmers with nowhere to send livestock ready for slaughter. Fewer processing options resulted in decreased beef, pork and poultry supply, forcing grocery stores to compete for product, which drove prices up.
“Meat markets have been insane,” Lusk Tweeted Thursday, noting unprecedented volatility in wholesale beef and pork prices.
The week ending March 20 saw the largest weekly increase in wholesale pork prices in at least a decade, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) compiled by the Livestock Marketing Information Center.
Two weeks later, wholesale pork prices experienced the largest weekly decline in at least 20 years after “panic buying” began to ease, Lusk said.
However, the USDA projected only slight increases in consumer meat prices. The agency expects beef, poultry and pork prices to climb between 1% and 3% this year.
Grocery stores often “cushion” price swings, according to experts, preventing the full impact of wholesale volatility from rocking consumers.
“There’s no doubt about it; this is an extraordinarily difficult time for the meat processing industries,” Lusk said. “The real pain is being felt by a lot of livestock producers who, at the moment, don’t have anywhere to go with their animals. The processing plants aren’t buying because they’re not operating because their workers are sick.”
PENDLETON, Ind. (WISH) — A man serving an 80-year sentence for the murder of his mother and 6-year-old half-sister in 2013 was found dead Tuesday in his prison cell, the Madison County coroner said Wednesday.
David S. Rodenbarger, 28, of Delphi, was found hanging by a bedsheet in a single cell at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, Coroner Danielle Dunnichay-Noone said. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxia due to hanging.
He pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, to two counts of murder and a count of criminal confinement in the deaths. Police said Rodenbarger used a carving knife and a two-pronged fork in February 2013 to stab his 41-year-old mother, Michelle J. “Shelly” Haskins, and her 6-year-old daughter, Jillian E. “Jilly” Haskins, in the family’s home in the 5600 block of East Richey Park Drive in Monticello, news reports said.
At his sentencing, Rodenbarger addressed the court and said he was sorry and words can’t express how he feels.
Rodenbarger had been diagnosed and treated for schizophrenia before the murders.