Riley Crossman Death: Who Killed a 15-Year-Old Berkeley Springs High School Student?

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, incident struck on May 8, 2019, when the vibrant and beloved 15-year-old Berkeley Springs High School student, Riley Crossman, went missing. What ensued was a harrowing journey that left the community in shock and grief, ultimately leading to the discovery of Riley’s lifeless body and the arrest of her stepfather, Andy McCauley, on charges of first-degree murder. As the details of this heart-wrenching case unfold, the events leading to her untimely demise, and the subsequent investigation that shook the foundations of Berkeley Springs.

Who Was Riley Crossman?

Born on December 22, 2003, in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Riley Grace Crossman was the eldest of four siblings, sharing a close bond with her sister Jade and brothers Ryder and Ryker. A freshman at Berkeley Springs High School, Riley was described by her family as a beautiful, innocent soul with a myriad of talents – a natural artist, a talented dancer, and possessing the voice of an angel. She was helpful, caring, intelligent, stubborn, and, like any teenage girl, as dramatic as they come.

Riley spent most of her time with her mother, Chantel Oakley, and her boyfriend, Andy McCauley, as her parents had divorced. Her mother, working tirelessly at two jobs, supported the family, creating a tight-knit bond between Riley and her siblings.

The Disappearance

Riley Crossman Death: Who Killed a 15-Year-Old Berkeley Springs High School Student? Stills of Riley Crossman and Andy McCauley
Riley Crossman Death: Who Killed a 15-Year-Old Berkeley Springs High School Student? Stills of Riley Crossman and Andy McCauley
(Image via Facebook/Riley Crossman and Court TV)

On the evening of May 7, 2019, Riley returned home from school to find her mother unwell on the couch. After spending some time with her grandmother, she retired to her room upstairs. Chantel, assuming Riley had gone to bed early, left for her second work shift. The next morning, Chantel woke up to an empty room and a missing Riley.

Concerns heightened as calls and texts to Riley’s phone went unanswered. The Morgan County Police Department, unable to trace her cell phone, launched an investigation, discovering a disarrayed room with traces of blood and saliva. Riley’s last text to her boyfriend, Haydn, sent shivers down everyone’s spine: “I’m scared, babe.”

Eight agonizing days later, Riley’s decomposed body was found near Tuscarora Pike in Berkeley County, wearing only one shoe. The state of decomposition made it challenging to determine the cause of death, but the grim reality unfolded – Riley had been suffocated to death.

The Investigation

1) Riley’s Terrifying Messages

Riley’s haunting text messages to her boyfriend, Haydn, revealed the last moments before her disappearance. “Andy’s in my room… shhh. Don’t say anything about it so he can hear everything. I’m scared, babe,” she pleaded. Haydn, on a school trip, received these messages at 5 am on May 8, 2019.

2) Andy McCauley’s Troubled Past

Andy McCauley, the prime suspect and Riley’s stepfather, had a criminal history that included arrests for drug-related charges and other offenses. His troubled past raised questions about his character and potential motives.

3) McCauley’s Mysterious Actions

On the day of Riley’s disappearance, McCauley was absent from work for over five hours, leaving without his phone and creating challenges for investigators. His movements, including borrowing trash bags and a green work truck, became crucial pieces in the puzzle.

4) Gruesome Scene and Unanswered Questions

Riley’s body, found in a contractor-grade trash bag, displayed signs of advanced decomposition. The presence of a chalky white substance on her body and clothing added to the mystery. Despite McCauley’s arrest and subsequent conviction, the motive behind the crime remains unknown.

Justice for Riley

The legal proceedings that followed Riley’s discovery led to the conviction of Andy McCauley on October 5, 2021. Charged with first-degree murder, concealment of a body, and child abuse, McCauley received a life sentence on November 4, 2021. Berkeley Springs, still reeling from the shock of Riley’s tragic fate, found a semblance of closure with the perpetrator behind bars.

Details In Short:

  1. Date of Incident: May 8, 2019
  2. Time of Disappearance: Riley Crossman was last seen around 5 am on May 8, 2019.
  3. Location: Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, at the Crossman family home.
  4. Victim’s Full Name: Riley Grace Crossman
  5. Victim’s Age: 15 years old
  6. Family Background: Daughter of Lance Crossman and Chantel Oakley, with siblings Jade, Ryder, and Ryker.
  7. School: Berkeley Springs High School, where Riley was a freshman.
  8. Relationship Status: Dating schoolmate Haydn Lacy.
  9. Circumstances of Disappearance: Riley went missing after her mother’s night shift; her room was found empty the next morning.
  10. Discovery of Body: Riley’s decomposed body was found eight days later, on May 16, 2019, near Tuscarora Pike in Berkeley County.
  11. Cause of Death: Suffocation by her stepfather, Andy McCauley, as revealed in court proceedings.
  12. Legal Outcome: Andy McCauley convicted on October 5, 2021, for first-degree murder, concealment of a body, and child abuse, receiving a life sentence on November 4, 2021.

Conclusion

The murder of Riley Crossman remains etched in the memory of Berkeley Springs. The upcoming episode of Murder in the Heartland, titled “Something Happened to Her,” scheduled to air on December 13, 2023, on Investigation Discovery, will provide further insights into the case. As the community grapples with the incident, one can’t help but wonder about the fragility of life and the enduring impact of Riley’s untimely death.

FAQs:

Q: What were Riley Crossman’s last words?

A: Riley’s last messages to her boyfriend, Haydn, revealed her fear as she mentioned her stepfather, Andy McCauley, entering her room.

Q: How was Riley’s body discovered?

A: Riley’s decomposed body was found over an embankment near Tuscarora Pike in Berkeley County, inside a contractor-grade trash bag.

Q: What happened to Andy McCauley?

A: Andy McCauley was convicted of first-degree murder, concealment of a body, and child abuse, receiving a life sentence on November 4, 2021.

Q: Was Riley’s cause of death determined?

A: The advanced decomposition of Riley’s body made it difficult to determine the exact cause of death, but she was suffocated to death according to reports.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours