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.
Sheriff K.C. Bohrer said at a news conference Thursday evening that detectives believe the body belongs to Riley, and an autopsy scheduled for Friday will determine if the remains are hers. Authorities have not said how she was killed.
Riley, 15, a student at Berkeley Springs High School, was reported missing on May 8 by her mother, Chantel Oakley, after she realized the girl did not show up for school.
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.
Police teams searched the area for her and said they were also looking for a possible suspect in the week following her disappearance.
Then on Wednesday a group of 300 volunteers began hunting in collaboration with agencies from Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia Natural Resources Police discovered a corpse on North Mountain at the 5500 block of Tuscarora Pike in Berkeley County.
Police are waiting to find out the cause of death and how long the body had been there.
Her school said it was providing counselors to help students process Crossman’s disappearance and possible death.