Teacher: Riley Crossman had a smile that would light up a room

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 6:16 PM EDT
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New details continue to emerge about the alleged murder of a 15-year-old girl who had been missing for a little more than a week.

Police found the body on Thursday they believe to be that of Riley Crossman. Authorities say the mother's boyfriend, Andy McCauley Jr., is facing a murder charge in connection with the case.

In the small town of Berkeley Springs, the community is coming together.

"Community has really come together from the beginning, through the search efforts, through a candlelight vigil last night," said Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer.

Police say they found the body in neighboring Berkeley County.

"By May the 9th, we began to develop information that led us to believe he might be a suspect in this case," said Bohrer.

According to the criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Police and obtained by WDTV, police allege several inconsistencies with what McCauley told them, such as where he was at what time and changing his story multiple times.

"We began to develop information that led us to believe that he might be a suspect in this case," said Bohrer. "As that progressed, day after day, it became a stronger and stronger indication that he was."

Police say that video surveillance captured where McCauley was and how it was different from what he told authorities. Those close with Crossman remember a student, dancer, and a smile that was taken from them far too soon.

"She was a ray of sunshine," said Holli McCumbee. "She could walk into any room and smile and everybody would just smile. She was that kid."

McCumbee was Riley's dance teacher at Berkeley Springs High School.

"She was one of those kids that was going to go somewhere," she said. "She had a very bright future. She could have done whatever she wanted."

McCumbee helped look for her student.

"Something was wrong," McCumbee said.

Teachers say they'll remember some of the most important things in life having known Riley Crossman.

"Her passion to dance -- and her smile," McCumbee said. "Her smile."

What McCumbee's final message to Crossman would be --

"People love you," she said. "People love you. People are here for you."

Investigators believe this to be the body of Crossman. They're still awaiting results of an autopsy from Charleston.