Police have arrested a West Virginia man for the murder of Riley Crossman, his girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter.
Andy J. McCauley, 41, was arrested Thursday after authorities found what they believe to be Riley’s decomposed body “positioned over an embankment in a rural mountain road” area of Berkeley County, West Virginia. The Berkeley County Medical Examiner responded to the scene.
Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer said at Thursday press conference that McCauley has “been a person of interest since day one.” Sheriff Bohrer declined to comment on where or when investigators believe the alleged murder occurred, as the investigation is still ongoing. He added that investigators “have no reason to believe that anyone else was involved.”
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
The body is being transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston, West Virginia Friday for an autopsy.
As Dateline has previously reported, Riley Crossman was last seen at her home in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia on May 8, 2019. Her mother Chantel Oakley told Dateline that when she woke up shortly after 7:15 a.m. that morning, Riley was not in her bedroom. But, as close family friend Kelly Waugh told Dateline, that’s “not incredibly abnormal.”
“Riley walks right across the street to the school,” Kelly told Dateline on Monday. “And her school starts at 7:45 a.m., so leaving by 7:15 a.m. is normal, to leave time for socializing. And her boyfriend was going on a field trip that day, so it was not abnormal that she went over early to say hi to him before he left for the field trip.”
Riley’s mother Chantel grew worried when Riley didn’t return home from school at her usual time. Chantel told Dateline she left work early and drove to Riley’s school to look for her. But Riley wasn’t there.
Chantel said she then went home to see if Riley had arrived while she was out.
“I went upstairs and walked in her room and she wasn’t there. I was mad and scared because, at that point, no one had heard from her,” Chantel told Dateline on Monday. “Then I got the call from the school saying she had been marked absent.”
Upon hearing that Riley had not been at school, Chantel said she called 911 right away to report her daughter missing. Riley’s father Lance Crossman, who lives about 25 minutes away, immediately drove to Berkeley Springs to help search for Riley.
It’s unclear if McCauley, the accused, was at Riley and her mother’s Berkeley Springs home on the morning of May 8. A motive for the alleged murder has also not been released.
The family is asking for time to grieve privately. The press release says counselors are available for students at Riley’s school, Berkeley Springs High School.
If you have any information on Riley Crossman’s case, please call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office at 304-258-1067.
Bianca Hillier covers missing person and homicide cases for NBC News.