For nine days, West Virginia authorities and volunteers searched long and hard for 15-year-old Riley Crossman.
According to WHSV, Crossman’s grandmother is believed to be one of the last people to see her alive, telling authorities that she saw her granddaughter at the home Crossman shared with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend around 7 p.m. on May 7.
It wasn’t until the next day after Crossman’s mom, Chantel Oakley, said she saw the light in her daughter room on around 10:30 p.m. on May 7 that she reported the teen missing.
As WHSV reports, Chantel alleges that when she saw the light on in her daughter’s room, her boyfriend, Andy McCauley, was downstairs asleep on the couch.
She told Dateline that her daughter was acting normal the last time she saw her:
“When she got home, she woke me up. She saidIt’s 3:30, time to wake up,’ and I said ‘Thanks, babe.’ Riley saidNo problem.’ She was acting normal. She went toward her room and I got ready for work.
I got home from work around 10:00 p.m. Her door was shut, so by all accounts she was in her room, but I didn’t actually see her.”
When Chantel woke up the following morning around 7:15 a.m., she noticed her daughter was gone but assumed she had already left for school.
As Dateline reports, Crossman’s boyfriend said he FaceTimed with her around 10:30 the night of May 7 and other friends said she was texting them until around midnight.
Phone records obtained by the authorities revealed that her phone was inactive until 5:45 a.m. the morning of May 8. Crossman tried FaceTiming her boyfriend again, but he was sleeping and missed the call.
“Riley walks right across the street to the school. And her school starts at 7:45 a.m., so leaving by 7:15 a.m. is normal to leave time for socializing. And her boyfriend was going on a field trip that day, so it was not abnormal that she went over early to say hi to him before he left for the field trip.”
It wasn’t until Crossman’s grandmother told Chantel that Crossman hadn’t come home from school yet that she began to worry.
Chantel said she tried texting her daughter twice, but the messages failed to go through. So she tried calling, and it went straight to voicemail.
A few hours later after looking for her daughter at school and learning her boyfriend also hadn’t heard from her, Crossman’s school told Chantel that her daughter had been marked absent. That’s when she called 911 to report her daughter missing.
Nine days later, on May 16, Crossman’s already decomposing body was found on a mountainside. Authorities say where the teen’s body was found is “consistent” with the route McCauley takes to and from work.
Police say McCauley has been “a suspect since day one,” adding that his story had changed multiple times while being questioned.
According to WHSV, McCauley originally told authorities that he never left the construction site where he worked. He later changed his story, saying he did leave the site to go back home in order to get cocaine for himself and a co-worker.
However, other co-workers said he already had cocaine in his possession at the time. He also said that he was only gone for an hour and a half to two hours, but surveillance footage reportedly shows McCauley leaving the construction site at 9 a.m. and not returning until 2 p.m.
In the bed of the truck he used that day, cadaver dogs were able to detect the smell of “deceased person odor.”
The truck also had traces of drywall mud in it, which was also found on Crossman’s shoulder and foot.
McCauley has since been arrested and charged with murder.
Crossman’s cause of death has not yet been revealed. The teen’s father, Lance, described his daughter as “very gentle,” adding:
“She has never hurt anyone in her life.”
A GoFundMe had originally been set up to collect money in order to aid in the search for Crossman. Now, the funds will be used for funeral arrangements.