Criminal complaint reveals new details in murder of missing West Virginia girl

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 4:30 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A criminal complaint for Andy McCauley, the man accused of murdering 15-year-old Riley Crossman, reveals chilling new details about the case of her disappearance.

On Thursday, the Morgan County Sheriff's Department

had been arrested for her murder shortly after her remains were found on a mountainside.

She had been missing for just over a week, and the day before her body was found, hundreds of volunteers had joined a massive search effort throughout Morgan County to try and bring her home.

On Friday, the West Virginia Medical Examiner was scheduled to perform an autopsy on the body found to confirm its identity as Riley, determine cause of death, and figure out how long she had been dead. As of 5 p.m., media outlets in the Berkeley Springs area reported that the results of the autopsy had not yet been released.

But as the investigation continues, WHSV's sister station, WDTV, obtained the criminal complaint filed for McCauley's arrest.

Riley's disappearance

According to West Virginia State Police statements in the complaint, Riley was last seen at her home on Greenway Drive in Berkeley Springs on May 7, around 7 p.m., by her grandmother. Crossman's mother told state police that she saw Riley's bedroom light on, with the door closed, and McCauley was downstairs asleep around 10:30 p.m. that same night.

The next morning, May 8, Crossman's mother woke up and checked Riley's room to find that she wasn't there. However, she told police she assumed her daughter had walked to school — until she got a text from the school letting her know that Riley was absent. At that point, she called police to report her missing.

McCauley's changing stories

As far as where McCauley was on that day, state police say he changed his story multiple times. In Morgan County Sheriff Bohrer's announcement of his arrest on May 16, he told reporters that McCauley had been "a suspect since day one."

The criminal complaint reveals that McCauley first told police he never left his construction work site in Hedgesville on May 8.

But later, the man who has faced previous drug charges told police he had, in fact, left the work site, but just for a short time to drive back to his home on Greenway Drive to get cocaine for himself and a co-worker.

Police say he used a work vehicle, identified as a green Dodge truck, to go back to the house. Witnesses at the work site allegedly told state police that McCauley already had cocaine in his possession before leaving.

During the course of the investigation, troopers said they searched the truck in question, which was used only by McCauley.

In the bed of the truck, they found fresh drywall mud splatter. Cadaver dogs also indicated a positive presence of a "deceased person odor" in the bed of the truck.

According to the criminal complaint, McCauley lied to police about the routes he used heading back to the job site too. In his original statement, McCauley told troopers he left the construction site for only around 90 minutes to 2 hours. But troopers say video surveillance shows McCauley leaving the work site at 9 a.m. and not returning until almost 2 p.m.

The search and its tragic end

In the week after, federal, state, and local agencies partnered to search for Riley, whose story was broadcast across the country, with a Dateline exclusive on NBC.

While the medical examiner's autopsy will reveal the exact time of death, Sheriff Bohrer indicated in a press conference on Thursday that she had been killed some time before, since her remains were already decomposed when they were discovered on Thursday morning.

Officers with the West Virginia Natural Resources Police were searching for Riley, when they found remains on an embankment off of a rural mountain road section in the 5500 block of Tuscarora Pike, near the top of a mountain in Berkeley Springs.

Sheriff K.C. Bohrer, Chief John Walter, Deputy Luke Shambaugh, Cpl. Fred Edwards and Cpl. Janette See responded to the scene immediately, and called in the West Virginia State Police Crime Scene Team and the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, from Virginia, due to the rough terrain.

Troopers determined the body was almost certainly that of Crossman based on clothing and other indicators, but an autopsy would be required for positive identification.

The arrest of McCauley

According to the criminal complaint, the body had drywall mud on the right shoulder and right foot that matched the drywall mud found in McCauley's truck.

Police also said the location where the body was found was in an area consistent with a route of travel McCauley could have taken from Berkeley Springs to his construction site in Hedgesville.

McCauley is charged with murder. More information on specific charges will be announced as the investigation continues once the autopsy is complete.

The effect on Riley's friends and family

Counselors have been provided at Berkeley Springs High School, where Crossman attended, to help students in the days to come.

If you would like to support Riley's family, a GoFundMe was established

, initially to support them during the search.

After the discovery of her body and arrest of her mother's boyfriend, her uncle took over the management of the fundraiser. He says in an announcement on the page that Riley's father and stepmother asked him to do so, and all funds will now go toward a funeral or memorial service.

The fundraiser has a guarantee from GoFundMe that the money will be used for its intended purpose.