Police say Andy McCauley was identified as a "person of interest" soon after the girl vanished

By Chris Harris
May 21, 2019 12:12 PM
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Riley Crossman
Credit: Riley Crossman/Facebook

Investigators say that cadaver dogs played a crucial role in the arrest of a 41-year-old West Virginia man accused of killing his girlfriend’s teenage daughter.

PEOPLE confirms Andy McCauley of Berkeley Springs did not enter a plea during his arraignment late last week on the murder charge he faces in the death of 15-year-old Riley Crossman.

Riley’s slain body was found last week on a steep cliff near the top of a mountain. She was first reported missing on May 8.

Her parents had insisted Riley would never run away, and according to investigators, McCauley was almost immediately identified as a person of interest.

McCauley was arrested Thursday night after Riley’s remains were recovered.

A criminal complaint obtained by the Journal alleges cadaver dogs were called in as part of the investigation and, after being led into the bed of McCauley’s truck, signaled that a dead body had been there recently.

In addition, McCauley’s story allegedly changed a number of times over the course of the investigation, which made police suspicious.

Riley Crossman
Riley Crossman
| Credit: Riley Crossman/Facebook

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The complaint, the Journal reports, indicates dry wall mud splatter was found in the truck bed — the same dry wall mud splatter allegedly found on Riley’s body.

Andy J. McCauley Jr.
Andy McCauley

It was unclear Tuesday if McCauley had retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf. He remains in police custody.

Holli McCumbee, who was Riley’s dance teacher, told WDTV the girl “was a ray of sunshine.”

McCumbee continued: “She could walk into any room and smile and everybody would just smile. She was that kid. She was one of those kids that was going to go somewhere. She had a very bright future. She could have done whatever she wanted.”

Police have yet to comment on a motive for the killing.