Riley Crossman was a 15-year-old from Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. She was attending high school and living with her mom, Chantel Oakley. Riley’s parents are divorced, but they both live in the same town.

On May 8th, Chantel went into Riley’s room like she does every morning before school. It was 7:15 in the morning and Riley wasn’t in there. Chantel thought nothing of Riley’s room being empty because her classes started at 7:45 and she would have had to have left by then to be on time.

When 3:30 p.m. rolled around and Riley failed to come home, Chantel definitely started getting worried. And when Riley’s school called her to say Riley had been marked as absent that very day and had not showed up at all, she started to panic.

Chantel drove to Riley’s school to search it herself. There was no sign of Riley and nobody had seen her that day. Chantel then called Riley’s boyfriend, Haydn Lacy, but he had not seen her either.

Chantel then called Riley’s dad, and finally…placed a call to the police

Instagram; Riley smiles and strikes a pose in the photo above

Chantel knew something had happened to Riley because she is very reliable for a teenager. She would not just run off and not tell anyone, that wasn’t in her nature.

She went on to say Riley can’t drive and doesn’t even have her learner’s permit, so she could not have just driven somewhere.

“That is why I immediately would start checking things because she would not run away,” Chantel said about her daughter to Dateline.

“She loves us. She wouldn’t want us to be upset.”

Riley’s dad said he agreed with Chantel, “She wouldn’t just run off. She has never hurt anyone in her life. She’s very gentle.”

Instagram; Riley wears a beautiful red dress in the above photo while sitting on her couch at home

Chantel last saw Riley the day before she went missing. Riley came home from school and woke her mom up at around 3:30 so she would not be late for the evening shift at work.

She said Riley was acting completely normal and not off at all. She didn’t notice anything wrong with her daughter. Riley went back to her bedroom while Chantel got ready to leave and head to her job.

All of Riley’s friends and family members agree that she is just a reliable and respectful girl, as well as a perfect student.

Instagram; Riley holds a big bouquet of bright pink roses in the photo above

She is on her school’s gymnastics team and she participates in quite a few extracurricular activities. She wouldn’t run away. She wouldn’t skip school. She wouldn’t leave her parents worried sick.

The local police then got involved in trying to locate Riley. Where would this girl have gone?

Riley had been dating her boyfriend Haydn for 8 months. He posted a photo of her missing poster with the caption, “Doing everything I can to try and find her, I haven’t slept since she’s been missing and I physically cannot sleep or function without her I’m worse than ever right now and I need her to be here and safe, I can’t go any longer without her I just want her with me right now I’ve been worried to death and I just need something to make me feel better but she’s the only one who can do that.. I really hope you’re ok baby just please be safe.

Riley’s dad, Lance, said that there was just no way Haydn could be involved in her disappearance. He also said Haydn was a positive influence on her in every way.

Instagram; Riley and Haydn are pictured above wearing matching sweatshirts that say King and Queen

He’s a pretty good kid. Riley has been pulling her grades up since she’s been with him,” Lance said to Dateline.

“He’s pretty tore up over this. I know that’s the first place people typically look for suspects, but it’s not the case here.”

At 5:40 in the morning on the day she disappeared, Riley tried to video call Haydn but he didn’t pick up. That was the last recorded activity on Riley’s phone that day.

Haydn had not been at school when Riley failed to show up: he was on a field trip. He didn’t even know Riley was missing until he came home from his trip at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Speaking to Dateline, Lance said, “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.”

He ended by saying, “We do have a good support system and community support. But it’s been horrific.”

The community was so supportive in trying to find Riley that the sheriff’s office had to post on Facebook saying they didn’t need any more physical resources in the hunt for Riley.

“We are not looking for any additional equipment or resources now other than those who can walk and physically search areas,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement online.

As the days went on, it wasn’t just the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and local community volunteers searching for Riley.

The FBI got involved. The Department of Homeland Security got involved. The West Virginia State Police got involved.

And if you take a look at Riley’s own social media, her posts became increasingly dark leading up to her disappearance, which is deeply different from what she normally posts.

Happy photos with her family and Haydn, positive quotes and messages; that’s what normally appears on Riley’s social media.

Instagram; Riley snaps a photo in a bathroom mirror of herself wearing a sweatshirt and jeans

Right before Riley went missing, she snapped a few photos she posted with captions like, “You’re like a penny, your practically worthless, no one wants you, you’re almost always in a dirty place, you’re two-faced, you don’t shine, and your value is very very low” and “smile through the pain.”

Going from bubbly and happy to dark and dismal, people started to think maybe she did perhaps run off.

That wouldn’t be like her, but then again her recent posts were nothing like her…

Instagram; Riley smiles with a dog filter overlaying her face in the above photo

But none of her social media accounts had been updated since she went missing. And there was no activity on her cell phone either.

Days went by and still, nothing. Authorities and volunteers continued to desperately search for her.

Instagram; Riley crosses her arms over her head in the photo pictured above

Local ponds and lakes, wooded areas, abandoned buildings, uninhabited areas, abandoned cars, backyards, underpasses…everything anyone could think of was searched.

Authorities and Riley’s family urged the public to not just be on the lookout for a blonde 15-year-old teenager…they suspected Riley very well could have been abducted and forced to dye her hair another color.

And then, authorities turned their suspicions closer to home. Inside Riley’s mom Chantel’s home, to be exact.

Chantel was dating a 41-year-old man named Andy J. McCauley. The initial statement Andy gave to the police wasn’t adding up, after all. Video surveillance and eyewitness accounts ended up helping the police to uncover he was anything but honest about the day Riley disappeared.

Instagram; Riley poses in a mirror and snaps a photo of herself at a hotel on a trip

Andy told authorities that he left his job at 9 a.m. the day Riley disappeared so that he could go back to the house to get drugs. He said he was only out of work for 2 hours before returning from his trip.

Video surveillance proved that he was not telling the truth and that Andy had left work for far more than 2 hours that fateful day. He was also caught on camera driving a different route to the house than the one he told authorities he had taken.

Now, why would he lie about all of this? What did Andy have to hide?

Instagram; Riley smiles and puts her head on her hand in the photo above

Authorities uncovered that Riley had sent some chilling texts to Haydn the night before she vanished. “Andy’s in my room,” she texted him at 11:01 p.m. on the evening of May 7th.

Just 12 minutes after Riley sent Haydn that first crazy text, she sent a second, and it would be the last text message she ever sent.

“I’m scared, babe,” Riley wrote to him.

Andy was on authorities’ radar the day Riley was reported missing by her mom, but this is what sent their suspicions over the edge.

Riley was finally found, on May 16th, 8 days after she had initially gone missing. Located high up on a very steep cliff, there she was.

Instagram; Riley poses in the above photo with her glasses on, which she captioned “Although you may think I’m weird…I assure you, I am”

Cadaver dogs had located Riley, and she was in such a terrible state of decomposition that the medical examiner couldn’t exactly determine how Riley had died. It could be many months before Riley’s true cause of death can be uncovered, and we may never know what happened to her.

Cadaver dogs also helped pin what happened to Riley on Andy. They discovered the signs of a dead body in the bed of Andy’s truck. In addition to this, drywall mud and sheet metal screws were found on Riley’s body and also found in Andy’s truck and toolbelt from work.

Authorities then revealed that Andy had called Riley 3 times from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. before she disappeared. The motive for why Andy did this is still completely unknown at this time, but he was arrested right after Riley’s remains were discovered and is police custody.

He is not eligible for bail and has not pleaded to the charges against him yet. Andy is being charged with Riley’s murder.

Riley’s dance teacher Holli McCumbee said to WDTV that Riley “was a ray of sunshine.”

Instagram; Riley sits on the floor of her bedroom in the above photo

“She could walk into any room and smile and everybody would just smile. She was that kid. She was one of those kids that was going to go somewhere. She had a very bright future. She could have done whatever she wanted.”

twitter; pictured above is Andy’s mugshot, along with a headline about his arrest for Riley’s murder

 

 

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