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One month later, family still desperate for clues in disappearance of Krystal Anderson in Wagener, South Carolina

The 30-year-old mother of four was last seen one month ago at her South Carolina home on August 20.

UPDATE: On September 28, 2022, Krystal’s boyfriend, Tony Berry, was arrested and charged with her kidnapping. Krystal is still missing. Read more here.


“It’s just been a nightmare,” Shadira Smothers told Dateline. “I just wish no family would have to go through this.”

Shadira’s younger sister, 30-year-old Krystal Anderson, has been missing for a month. She was last seen on August 20, 2022, at her Wagener, South Carolina home in Aiken County.

“We cry every single day,” Shadira said. “It’s hard—our lives have changed.”

Shadira, who was born in New Jersey, says her sister Krystal is a South Carolina native. “I was living in South Carolina with my mom when she had Krystal,” Shadira told Dateline. Shadira said she moved back to New Jersey to live with her father when she was around 12 years old, but Krystal never moved away from her South Carolina roots.

Shadira told Dateline that distance never broke the sisters’ bond. “Even in between that time she would come to Jersey and visit, or I would come down South,” Shadira said. Shadira now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, only a few hours away from her baby sister. “We became especially closer as we got older,” Shadira said.

Krystal(left) and Shadira(right).
Krystal(left) and Shadira(right).

And when both of them became mothers, their bond grew even closer. Krystal has four young children and Shadira has one of her own. “She’s a great mom,” Shadira told Dateline. “Her and the kids would make TikTok videos all the time.”

Shadira told Dateline she last spoke to her sister about a week before she disappeared. “Our mom just got diagnosed with a brain aneurysm,” Shadira said. “So the conversation was more so, ‘When I was going to come back to South Carolina?’”

A week later, Shadira would find herself with multiple reasons to return to South Carolina.

“Tuesday, August 23—that morning, I received a call from her oldest son’s father,” Shadira said. “He stated that Krystal did not pick up my nephew on that Sunday.” Shadira said that she was immediately concerned because Krystal “would never miss the time to pick up” her son.

“He thought that was strange, and then he hadn’t heard from her Monday going into Tuesday,” Shadira said. “So I immediately contacted her boyfriend.”

Shadira told Dateline she called Krystal’s live-in boyfriend and father to one of her children, Tony Berry, and asked him where Krystal was. “He said, ‘I don’t know, she left around 1 o’clock in the morning on Saturday,” Shadira recounted. “I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you report it?’”

According to Shadira, Berry told her he planned to do just that. “He said, ‘I kept the children home from school today because I was going to report it today,’” Shadira remembered. “I said, ‘If you don’t report it, I’m going to report it.’”

Shadira said Tony Berry did later report Krystal Anderson missing to the Wagener Police Department. Shadira told Dateline she hasn’t heard from Berry since he reported her sister missing. “We don’t have any contact for him at this point,” she said.

On August 26, local NBC Affiliate WAGT 26 reported that “a Wagener police officer told deputies he’d spoken with several people, including to Berry by phone, about Anderson,” and that “the officer said Berry stated she had not been at the residence since Sunday and had left the children with him.”

Krystal and her mother.
Krystal and her mother.Shadira Smothers

Shadira told Dateline Berry’s sister eventually dropped Krystal’s children off with their mother. “She said, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, I’m just dropping the children off,’” Shadira said. Dateline attempted to contact Tony Berry, but calls went straight to voicemail.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is handling Krystal’s disappearance. Their office told WAGT in early September that they were conducting a search for Krystal and that there were no persons of interest at that time.

Shadira told Dateline her family is extremely disappointed in the way Krystal’s case is being handled. “My family has been in the dark,” Shadira said. After a month with no answers, Shadira said the Aiken County Sheriff’s only recently took her statement. “Aiken County never reached out to us. Never offered any comfort—empathy.”

Shadira told Dateline she does know that Krystal’s cell phone has been found. “They gathered her cell phone about two weeks ago,” Shadira said, adding that she has yet to be told where it was located. “We have not heard anything about that.”

Dateline has reached out to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office several times by phone and email over the past week. We were asked to send a fax with questions, but have yet to receive a response.

Shadira said her family has been taking matters into their own hands. “We’ve been on so many wild goose chases trying to figure things out,” Shadira told Dateline. “We’ve been everywhere — in swamps, looking in woods, cemeteries -- trying to look for shallow graves.” But there has been no sign of Krystal.

Krystal and her children.
Krystal and her children.Shadira Smothers

“It’s torture,” Shadira said. She added that it’s been especially hard for Krystal’s children. “They’re asking for their mom,” Shadira told Dateline. “I don’t have answers for them.”

Krystal’s family is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to her whereabouts.

Krystal is 5’1”, 105 lbs. with black hair and green eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office at 803-642-1761.