BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (FOX 5 DC) - The community of Berkeley Springs spent the last week searching for 15-year-old Riley Crossman after she disappeared from her home. On Thursday, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office announced they had arrested her mother’s boyfriend for her murder.
Court documents obtained by FOX 5 Friday show investigators linked 41-year-old Andy McCauley Jr. to the crime by evidence they found in his truck.
After a week of searching, Riley’s body was found about 30 miles away from her home. Hundreds gathered in a downtown park Thursday night for a vigil after the news of the arrest where they placed candles and flowers in Riley’s memory.
Teachers and students at Berkeley Springs High School came to class Friday wearing purple — Riley’s favorite color. Her dance teacher Holli McCumbe remembers a passionate and talented young girl who never missed school.
“Riley was just one of those good kids. She came in as a freshman, she was shy, quiet… and as the year went on, she got more comfortable, showed more personality and really started to open up. She was truly a ray of sunshine,” said McCumbe.
Morgan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Erich May says many have taken time to speak to grief counselors, social workers and even clergy provided for people who knew Riley.
“We are in shock. We are devastated. We have lost a cherished member of our school community,” said May. “We are so grateful for these many volunteers who are in our schools today and grateful for the hundreds who participated in the search and all the efforts of law enforcement.’
The Morgan County sheriff charged McCauley Jr. in Riley’s murder. Authorities say he was a person of interest since she first disappeared but investigators have not yet released a motive.
Riley’s decomposed body was found over an embankment in a rural section of Tuscarora Pike by a search team eight days after she didn’t show up to school, prompting search parties of volunteers every day for a week while she was missing — an ending that has shaken this community to its core.
Riley's body was taken to the state medical examiners office for an autopsy. Investigators have not yet released how she was killed.
McCauley Jr. is currently being held without bond.