INDIANAPOLIS — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is a previous report about the Delphi victims' families having renewed hope in finding the girls' killer.
Indiana State Police has released a statement confirming Kegan Anthony Kline — the man who started a fake social media account and was charged with child exploitation — is being looked at in connection with investigation into the murders of Abby Williams and Libby German in Delphi. The agency also addressed why Kline was not arrested on the child exploitation and child porn charges until 2020, despite a search of his Peru home in 2017.
On Dec. 6, ISP issued a press release seeking information into an online account with the username anthony_shots. While the release did not identify Kline or call him a person of interest at the time, it did say Delphi investigators were seeking more information about the account.
13News has learned that release asking for information on the anthony_shots profile has led to around 500 tips in the past week.
On Monday, ISP offered a look into the decision to publicly request information about that account:
The Indiana State Police has received many media inquiries since our December 6th press release concerning "anthony_shots" and eventually the identification of Kegan Kline. Your questions are certainly relevant as they relate to a long, complex, and extremely complicated murder investigation.
During the last nearly five years, we have conducted dozens of secondary investigations based on information we received. One of those investigations included a Possession of Child Pornography case resulting in the arrest of Kegan Kline. The information we had, have, and continue to receive concerning Kline has ebbed and flowed over these last few years. We understand there was a period of time that passed between 2017 and 2020 when Kline was not arrested and incarcerated for Possession of Child Pornography. Once the Indiana State Police presented the criminal case to the Miami County Prosecutor in June of 2020, immediate action was taken by both the Indiana State Police and the Miami County Prosecutor's Office, which ultimately resulted in Kline's arrest.
Like so many other pieces of this investigation, we will always review, learn from, and make any necessary adjustments. We do not believe that any person has done anything intentionally wrong, but we will continue to critically evaluate our efforts.
We know there is enormous interest in the "WHY" of everything we do, but we cannot and will not speculate. One day you will have the opportunity to see and know what we do, and we look forward to that day.
ISP has still not named Kline as a person of interest or suspect in the Delphi case. Still, the connection has given the victims' families some hope.
"It's another step in the case, you know, and I think it's a big one," Mike Patty Libby German's grandfather, told 13News last week.
Patty is praying a tips can eventually lead to charges against the person responsible for Libby and Abby's murders.
Kegan Kline's court appointed public defender, Andrew Achey, released the following response to 13News on Dec. 7:
My client had nothing to do with the unexpected, untimely and unfortunate passing of the girls in Delphi.
Tips and information can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or called to 765-822-3535.
Kline child exploitation case
Kegan Anthony Kline was charged Aug. 29, 2020, with 30 counts, including child exploitation, possession of child pornography and obstruction of justice.
The charges stem from a search of his Peru, Indiana, home on Feb. 25, 2017, just 11 days after the bodies of Liberty German and Abigail Williams were discovered. The FBI, Indiana State Police and Peru Police Department took part in serving the search warrant, and the investigation was focused on Kline allegedly soliciting underage girls.
According to a probable cause affidavit out of Miami County, obtained by 13News, Kline created the anthony_shots account approximately six months prior to when investigators interviewed him in February of 2017. He allegedly said he created the account to contact both girls he knew and girls he did not. Court documents show Kline saying he would talk to girls, even if they were under the age of 16, and that he found them on Instagram and then told them to message him on Snapchat.
Kline allegedly claimed to have received pictures from all of the girls he chatted with and had saved them.
According to court documents, while investigators talked to Kline shortly after he returned from Las Vegas. Investigators said he told them he was "f****ed and he should've left." Kline said he had planned to leave the area that day, after his dad fell asleep, according to the court documents.
In that probable cause affidavit, Kline said he received sexual photos and videos of the girls he was messaging.
RELATED: Man behind anthony_shots account charged in child exploitation case, same profile name identified in Delphi killings investigation
Investigators seized six devices from Kline, including smartphones, a tablet and an iPod touch as part of the 2017 search warrant on the child pornography case.
The iPod Touch was last used in May of 2015 and contained sexually explicit images of children, according to court documents. Locations for some of the images came back to Hammond or Royal Center, Indiana.
One iPhone, last used May of 2015, contained sexual images of girls around the age of 14. The geo-location on the images came back to cities in Indiana, including Bunker Hill, Galveston, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Monterey and Royal Center.
A Samsung Galaxy phone, last used in June of 2015, contained sexually explicit images of children between 12 and 17 years old.
Another iPhone investigators found contained sexual images of children between 12 and 17, adults involved in sexual acts with children between the ages of 3 and 11, and images of drugs and Kline with a black handgun. That phone was last used November of 2016.
The tablet was last used in March of 2016 and showed conversations on Facebook Messenger and the user suggesting the conversations be moved to Kik Messenger or Snapchat, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Another Samsung Galaxy phone recovered was factory reset on Feb. 23, 2017 – nine days after the Delphi murders. A factory reset essentially wipes all user data from a device. investigators were able to get information on the device after the reset. It included discussions about meeting people in Las Vegas and prostitution.
On Feb. 27, 2017, Kline contacted police claiming he had located his iPhone 5. Investigators said they found images of females posing nude, but investigators could not determine their ages. Investigators also found much of the data from Facebook, Instagram, MeetMe, Snapchat and Twitter had been deleted. A review of the phone found that hours after police released him the day they searched his home, Feb. 25, he had uninstalled and deleted Snapchat and Instagram. The following day, MeetMe was uninstalled and deleted. The browser search history had also been deleted the morning of Feb. 27 before the phone was turned in to authorities.
13News has confirmed that Kegan Kline is still being held in the Miami County Jail. His next court hearing is set for Dec. 16.