In an ominous text message to her boyfriend before her death, a West Virginia teen texted “I’m scared, babe.”
It would be the last communication Riley Crossman would ever have with her boyfriend. The 15-year-old’s dead body would be discovered on an embankment on May 16 and her mother’s boyfriend, Andy J. McCauley, 41, would soon be charged with her murder.
The teen’s final text messages to her boyfriend—sent on May 7—gave investigators disturbing clues into what may have been her final hours.
Crossman allegedly texted her boyfriend at 11:01 p.m. on May 7 telling him that her mother’s boyfriend had just come into her room.
“Andy’s in my room,” she wrote, according to The Herald-Mail.
Then, just 12 minutes later, she’d send him her final message.
“I’m scared, babe,” she wrote.
The text messages were presented during a preliminary hearing Wednesday for McCauley at the Morgan County Courthouse.
Crossman’s mother, Chantel Oakley, reported the teen missing the following day—after she failed to show up for school and wasn’t at home either.
Oakley told “Dateline” shortly after the teen disappeared that she had last seen her daughter on May 7 before she left for work for an evening shift, according to NBC News. When she arrived back home around 10 p.m., she noticed her daughter’s door was shut but just assumed she was home inside her room.
When Oakley woke up the next morning around 7:15 a.m. her daughter was gone, but Oakley said that wasn’t unusual and just assumed her daughter had headed off to her nearby high school.
But when the teen didn’t return after school, and her boyfriend also hadn’t heard from her all day, Oakley began to worry.
“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. Then I got the call from the school saying she had been marked absent,” Oakley told Dateline.
Crossman’s body would later be discovered in an embankment, showing signs of decomposition.
Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney Dan James didn’t present any information on the cause of Crossman’s death at the Wednesday hearing and said he was still waiting to receive complete autopsy results. It’s possible, he said, that the teen’s cause of death may never be determined due to the level of decomposition when the body was found.
After discovering Crossman had been a victim of foul play, investigators soon turned their attention to McCauley. Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer called him a “person of interest from day one,” according to The Associated Press.
Investigators said McCauley initially gave statements to authorities as to his whereabouts that morning that were inconsistent with video surveillance footage and other witness statements. He told investigators he had left work around 9 a.m. on May 8 to go home to get drugs and was only gone about two hours. However, video footage showed he was away from work that day longer than he had claimed and captured him taking a different route than he told investigators, according to a report from The Journal shortly after his arrest.
West Virginia State Police Cpl. F.H. Edwards also testified during the hearing that drywall mud found on Crossman’s body was also found in the bed of a truck McCauley had been driving. In addition, drywall mud and sheet metal screws were also found at the scene where the body was recovered that investigators believe link McCauley to the crime. The same screws were also found in McCauley’s work belt.
Cadaver dogs were also able to detect signs of a dead body in the bed of the truck, The Herald-Mail reports.
Investigators also pointed to phone records that showed McCauley had tried to call Crossman’s cellphone three times on May 7 between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., but used *67 to try to block his identity.
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