Police confirmed Monday that a CVS employee was arrested in the mysterious murders of two Indiana teen girls who were killed while hiking near their hometown five years ago.
Richard Matthew Allen, 50, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of murder in the 2017 slayings of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, in Delphi, Indiana.
On February 14, 2017, the bodies of the two girls were discovered in a rugged area near a hiking trail, one day after they went missing during a day off from school.
Authorities ruled their deaths a double homicide at the time, but they have yet to reveal how they were killed or what evidence they had in the case.
Allen’s arrest is the first major update in a years-long case that has haunted the small city of about 3,000 people.
“It’s concerning that he’s a local guy,” Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland said during a news conference on Monday.
Authorities said the evidence against Allen, who was working as a licensed pharmacy technician at a local CVS store prior to his arrest, has been temporarily sealed to protect the “integrity” of their investigation.
Authorities said a judge found probable cause to arrest Allen and hold him without bond. McLeland said Allen entered a not guilty plea at his initial hearing on Friday.
Becky Patty, Libby’s grandmother, told reporters on Monday that Allen had once processed photos for their family at CVS but didn’t charge them.
On Monday, posters seeking information about the teen girls’ murders remained in the window of the CVS store where Allen worked.
Mike Patty, the teen’s grandfather, added that they had always suspected the suspect was “living right amongst us, hiding in plain sight.”
“That’s why we never stopped searching anywhere, because we didn’t know where he was,” Mike said.
When asked if they were looking into whether anyone else was involved in the murders, authorities insisted they hadn’t “closed the door on the investigation.”
State Police Superintendent Doug Carter stated that the investigation is “far from over” and urged members of the public to continue to come forward with information.
On February 13, 2017, the girls went missing after failing to return from a hike near the Monon High Bridge, just outside their hometown.
The eighth-graders had documented some of their walk on Snapchat, and cops released chilling grainy footage from Libby’s phone early in the investigation, showing a man walking on a bridge near where the girls were last seen.
An audio recording was also released of a man, believed to be the suspect, saying “down the hill.”
Authorities previously hailed Libby as a hero for managing to record the potentially crucial evidence before she was murdered.
CVS issued a statement following Allen’s arrest, saying the company is “shocked and saddened to learn that one of our store employees was arrested as a suspect in these crimes.” We stand ready to assist the police investigation in any way we can.”
“We are still devastated by these murders, and our hearts go out to the German and Williams families,” the statement continued.