Riley Crossman was a 15-year-old from Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. She was attending high school and living with her mom, Chantel Oakley. Riley’s parents are divorced, but they both live in the same town.
On May 8th, Chantel went into Riley’s room like she does every morning before school. It was 7:15 in the morning and Riley wasn’t in there. Chantel thought nothing of Riley’s room being empty because her classes started at 7:45 and she would have had to have left by then to be on time.
When 3:30 p.m. rolled around and Riley failed to come home, Chantel definitely started getting worried. And when Riley’s school called her to say Riley had been marked as absent that very day and had not shown up at all, she started to panic.
Instagram; Riley smiles and rests her head on her hand in the above photo
Chantel drove to Riley’s school to search it herself. There was no sign of Riley and nobody had seen her that day. Chantel then called Riley’s boyfriend, Haydn Lacy, but he had not seen her either.
Chantel then called Riley’s dad, and finally…placed a call to the police.
Instagram; Riley smiles and strikes a pose in the photo above
Chantel knew something had happened to Riley because she is very reliable for a teenager. She would not just run off and not tell anyone, that wasn’t in her nature.
She went on to say Riley can’t drive and doesn’t even have her learner’s permit, so she could not have just driven somewhere.
“That is why I immediately would start checking things because she would not run away,” Chantel said about her daughter to Dateline.
“She loves us. She wouldn’t want us to be upset.”
Riley’s dad said he agreed with Chantel, “She wouldn’t just run off. She has never hurt anyone in her life. She’s very gentle.”
Instagram; Riley wears a beautiful red dress in the above photo while sitting on her couch at home
Chantel last saw Riley the day before she went missing. Riley came home from school and woke her mom up at around 3:30 so she would not be late for the evening shift at work.
She said Riley was acting completely normal and not off at all. She didn’t notice anything wrong with her daughter. Riley went back to her bedroom while Chantel got ready to leave and head to her job.
All of Riley’s friends and family members agree that she is just a reliable and respectful girl, as well as a perfect student.
Instagram; Riley holds a big bouquet of bright pink roses in the photo above
She is on her school’s gymnastics team and she participates in quite a few extracurricular activities. She wouldn’t run away. She wouldn’t skip school. She wouldn’t leave her parents worried sick.
The local police then got involved in trying to locate Riley. Where would this girl have gone?
Riley had been dating her boyfriend Haydn for 8 months. He posted a photo of her missing poster with the caption, “Doing everything I can to try and find her, I haven’t slept since she’s been missing and I physically cannot sleep or function without her I’m worse than ever right now and I need her to be here and safe, I can’t go any longer without her I just want her with me right now I’ve been worried to death and I just need something to make me feel better but she’s the only one who can do that.. I really hope you’re ok baby just please be safe.”
Instagram; pictured above, Riley’s boyfriend Haydn posted a photo of her missing flyer on social media
Riley’s dad, Lance, said that there was just no way Haydn could be involved in her disappearance. He also said Haydn was a positive influence on her in every way.
Instagram; Riley and Haydn are pictured above wearing matching sweatshirts that say King and Queen
“He’s a pretty good kid. Riley has been pulling her grades up since she’s been with him,” Lance said to Dateline.
“He’s pretty tore up over this. I know that’s the first place people typically look for suspects, but it’s not the case here.”
At 5:40 in the morning on the day she disappeared, Riley tried to video call Haydn but he didn’t pick up. That was the last recorded activity on Riley’s phone that day.
Haydn had not been at school when Riley failed to show up: he was on a field trip. He didn’t even know Riley was missing until he came home from his trip at 3:30 in the afternoon.
Instagram; Riley and Haydn are pictured above at their school’s Homecoming Dance together
Berkeley Springs High School, where Riley attended, actively asked all their students to do everything in their power to help bring Riley back home.
They even held a rally in her honor to, “show of support from the BSHS community in the efforts to get her home safely.”
Facebook; pictured above is a photo from Berkeley Springs High School’s rally for Riley
Speaking to Dateline, Lance said, “We’ve had several volunteer searches that we’ve organized. There’s just been so many areas that we have covered on ground searches. It’s been the worst thing that’s ever happened to any of us. None of us are sleeping or eating very well.”
He ended by saying, “We do have a good support system and community support. But it’s been horrific.”
The community was so supportive in trying to find Riley that the sheriff’s office had to post on Facebook saying they didn’t need any more physical resources in the hunt for Riley.
“We are not looking for any additional equipment or resources now other than those who can walk and physically search areas,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement online.
As the days went on, it wasn’t just the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and local community volunteers searching for Riley.
The FBI got involved. The Department of Homeland Security got involved. The West Virginia State Police got involved.
Facebook; pictured above is the statement the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department released on social media about the volunteer efforts