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What Happened To Riley Crossman? New Details On The Murder Of The 15-Year-Old From West Virginia

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What Happened To Riley Crossman? New Details On The Unsolved Disappearance Of The 15-Year-Old From West Virginia

What happened to Riley Crossman? The West Virginia teenager that had been missing since May 7th, when she failed to show up for school, has been found dead.

According to investigators, cadaver dogs were used to find her body, which was discovered last week on a steep cliff near the top of a mountain. Her mother's boyfriend, Andy McCauley, has been arrested in her murder. Authorities say he was immediately a "person of interest" after Riley disappeared, that his story changed multiple times throughout the investigation, and the dogs led police to the bed of McCauley's truck.

A complaint obtained by The Journal indicated that dry wall mud splatter was found in his truck bed, and is linked to the same substance allegedly found on Riley's body. There is not yet a motive in her murder, but McCauley is currently in police custody.

As reported on May 16th:

According to her mother, the day before, she was acting normal. Her grandmother was at the house until 7 PM, she video-chatted with her boyfriend, Haydn, until 10:30 PM, and a friend said the two were texting until about midnight.

When her mother, Chantel, returned from work that night, the door was closed but that wasn’t abnormal for the teenager. Riley’s phone showed she was inactive until 5:40 AM, when she tried to video chat with her boyfriend again, who missed the call.

Around 7:15 AM, Chantel noticed her daughter wasn’t in her room, but according to Riley’s friend, Kelly Waugh, that was normal as well.

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“Riley walks right across the street to the school. And her school starts at 7:45 AM, so leaving by 7:15 AM 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,” Waugh revealed to Dateline.


A post shared by  (@thatrandomgirlsayshello) on Apr 1, 2019 at 3:49am PDT

But later that day, when Riley didn’t return home from school, Chantel attempted to call and text her but her messages weren’t delivered and the calls went straight to voicemail. Riley’s grandmother went to the school to see if Riley was still there. Haydn was in the parking lot, returning from a field trip.

Said Chantel, “He had not talked to her all day since he was at the field trip. 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. Then I got the call from the school saying she had been marked absent.” Chantel immediately called 911 to report Riley missing.

Investigators began their search for answers and clues the same day. They also posted on Facebook, asking anyone with information to contact them.

For her father, Lance, it’s been a living nightmare.

“It was frantic after that. From then up until now, it’s just nonstop. We’ve had several volunteer searches that we’ve organized. There’s just been so many areas that we have covered on ground searches. It’s been the worst thing that’s ever happened to any of us. None of us are sleeping or eating very well. We do have a good support system and community support. But it’s been horrific,” he said.

“No matter where you live — California, Texas, Canada — please look for her. We are afraid that she could be very far away at this point. She could be anywhere in the U.S. or the continent. We just don’t know. Please take a second to care. This is our baby.”

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A post shared by (@thatrandomgirlsayshello) on Mar 16, 2019 at 5:13pm PDT

Could Riley have run away? It’s unlikely. None of her social media accounts have been active since that morning when she tried to contact Haydn, and because she didn’t have her driver’s license, her mother doesn’t believe she ran away.

“That is why I immediately would start checking things, because she would not run away. She loves us. She wouldn’t want us to be upset,” said Chantel. Lance agreed, “She wouldn’t just run off. She has never hurt anyone in her life. She’s very gentle.”

Since her disappearance, multiple searches have been conducted around the area. In a press release on Monday, the FBI and West Virginia State Police joined the search efforts. According to the release, “The investigative effort into finding Riley Crossman continues now to its sixth day. Law Enforcement has committed a maximum effort into her disappearance. The search and investigation has continued non-stop and law enforcement has logged hundreds of man hours.”

Her school also organized their own efforts and asked students to support the search for Riley. “Riley is one of our own. Please wear blue and gold on Monday as a show of support from the BSHS community in the efforts to get her home safely,” her high school’s Facebook page posted.


A post shared by (@thatrandomgirlsayshello) on Mar 15, 2019 at 6:38pm PDT

Just yesterday, on May 15th, 350 members of the community joined together to look for her. The volunteers divided into groups led by police, firefighters and professional search-and-rescue personnel. Areas searched included “wooded or uninhabited areas; bodies of water; vacant buildings; abandoned vehicles; shafts, underpasses, backyards; and any other secluded areas.”

Haydn has been part of the search efforts as well, and posted on Instagram:

According to her parents, Haydn was a good influence on her. Lance told Dateline, “He’s a pretty good kid. Riley has been pulling her grades up since she’s been with him. He’s pretty torn up over this. I know that’s the first place people typically look for suspects, but it’s not the case here.”

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.