Perhaps one of the most chilling tales of recent years is the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The then 3-year old’s sudden vanishing while on vacation sparked a worldwide search for where she could possibly be. She made international headlines. Documentaries have been made about her.
Now, it’s been over ten years since that horrifying day. Madeleine’s parents are still looking for answers and they haven’t stopped in their search for the truth. They’ve replayed that fateful day constantly in their heads, and they refuse to give up hope on finding their daughter.
The timeline of her disappearance is rather strange, and here’s everything you need to know about this little girl’s disappearance.
Instagram; pictured above is 3-year-old Madeleine, who seemingly vanished into thin air while on vacation with her family and friends
Authorities at one point were at such a loss for what could have possibly happened that they began accusing the most unsuspecting people of foul play.
Madeleine’s story and case are still ongoing, but there are quite a few key details that have been discovered and brought to light so far over the years…
Youtube; pictured above Madeline enjoys some fun on a playground before she went missing
The McCann family is made up of Kate, Gerry, Madeleine, and a set of twins. Although they are from the U.K., when Madeleine went missing they were still fairly far from home.
The family was vacationing in Portugal, along with Madeleine’s siblings and some family friends.
They had gone on holiday with a group of their friends and knew Portugal well. It was one of their favorite vacation spots. However, it shortly would be one of their least favorite places.
As they had every evening, the McCanns put their three children to be in their condo they were staying at and headed to dinner with their friends.
The restaurant was just about 100 yards away from the McCann entry level apartment. They could even see the front door from their table. That’s why the tale of Madeleine disappearing is so strange.
Instagram; pictured above Madeleine holds some tennis balls while standing on a tennis court
On the evening she went missing, the McCanns left their apartment at 8:30 p.m. for dinner.
Throughout the course of their meal, they would regularly go back to the apartment and check on their children. This would occur basically every 30 minutes.
Gerry McCann, Madeleine’s father, went to the apartment at 9:00 p.m. to check on the children. Upon arriving, he noticed the bedroom door was opened wider than it had been when he left the apartment initially. However, he didn’t think anything of it.
Instagram; pictured above Madeleine smiles for the camera while pushing some hair out of her face
After Gerry returned to the table, a friend vacationing with the couple named Matthew Oldfield went to check the children.
He heard no sounds from the children and returned to the table, thinking all was well and they were all still peacefully asleep. Shortly after this, another friend went to check on all the children as well.
Instagram; pictured above Madeleine rests her head on her hand and looks down
Just a half hour after Matthew Oldfield went to check on the children, Kate McCann went. This is when she noticed something was not right.
Kate arrived at the apartment and noticed the children’s bedroom window was opened, and the shutter was raised.
She also realized Madeleine was gone. Immediately, she knew something had gone horribly wrong.
Kate told Gerry and their table full of friends that Madeleine had gone missing. With that, a mad search began.
Gerry explained that he rapidly began searching their apartment for the missing little girl. Soon, the search widened and they became alarmed very quickly.
Matt went to the reception desk and asked them to contact the authorities and report a missing child.
Upon arriving back to the apartment, he found the McCann’s completely distraught. Gerry recalls having some of the darkest thoughts about what could have happened to their little girl.
Facebook; pictured above are Madeleine’s parents; Kate and Gerry
The McCanns remembered waiting for what felt like an eternity for authorities to arrive at the apartment.
By this time it was four in the morning, and all Kate wanted to do was to keep searching for her daughter.
In the coming weeks, an intense investigation would be launched by Portuguese authorities.
Countless theories were developed including one where both Kate, and Gerry, were suspects.
The police were not able to get very far in finding out what exactly happened to this little girl
Authorities believed that Madeleine had died accidentally and the McCanns had gotten rid of her body. All throughout 2007, the year of their daughter’s disappearance, they were suspects.
Thanks to lack of evidence though, the label was lifted. Goncalo Amaral, who was the Chief Inspector in Madeleine’s case, resigned after a year of heading up the hunt for this little girl.
It was then that he released The Truth of the Lie. In this book of his, he claims that Madeleine’s parents faked her abduction and that she had died in the apartment.
The McCanns later sued Goncalo, calling the details in his book complete lies.
Amazon; pictured above is the cover photo of Goncalo’s book about Madeleine’s disappearance
The search for Madeleine became known by Metropolitan Police as Operation Grange. It has been ongoing since 2011.
As of 2013, authorities had identified four suspects in her disappearance. All four were interviewed by Portuguese and Metropolitan authorities.
In 2014, new police searches for Madeleine began.
The first area they searched was the Ocean Club complex, where the McCann family was staying in 2007.
Roughly the size of three football fields, the authorities had a lot of ground to cover.
Instagram; Madeleine is pictured in the above photo
They expanded to a second area. This was on the other side of the Praia da Luz, which is very close to the main road that leads out of town.
Lastly, they chose to search through another large area across the road from Praia Da Luz. Still, they had little luck.
Many theories were proffered about what could have happened to Madeleine, including one by Thomas G. Martin.
YouTube; Madeleine smiles from underneath a hat in the photo above
Thomas currently heads Martin Investigation Service, after formerly serving as a federal agent for the U.S. Department of Justice.
His biggest question about the case is a rather riveting one, and something I’m sure the McCanns have asked themselves a thousand times over at this point.
He believes there was a fault in how the children were checked on.
He has said, “you walk in to check on the child, but you don’t look to see if the child is there?” He raises a good point.
However, he continued on explaining that the McCanns made it slightly obviously that their children were alone sleeping in the room.
Everyone in the restaurant knew about it.
Martin’s theory is that there were just too many cooks in the kitchen when it came to investigating the case from the get-go.
Martin has taken over the role in searching for Madeleine
Martin continued in saying had he been part of this case he would not be asking what we know, but rather what we don’t know.
This allows for the puzzle to be solved much easier.
Luckily, the McCanns have hired a private investigator who appears to be doing just that. Trying to find out what no one knows.
David Edgar is currently heading up Madeliene’s case and has funding to do so until March 2019.
He explained it’s a baffling case, but thinks it’s solvable.
Instagram; Madeleine smiles wide in the photo above
David believes, that it will take only one breakthrough confession to get answers about Madeleine.
He thinks somewhere, someone (or several someones) knows what happened to this poor little girl.
Though she could be anywhere in the world at this point, David’s theory is that she is in Portugal.
Mostly due to the fact that for someone to smuggle her out of the country without it being noticed is extremely unlikely.
Instagram; Madeleine is pictured in the above photo
As recently as October 2018 David insists that there is still hope.
“There is every possibility that Madeleine is still alive and could be being hidden somewhere and having no idea that she is at the center of a worldwide hunt for her.”
Currently, authorities are following up on a lead that involves a child predator from the area who allegedly was caught stealing something from the Ocean Club resort, where Madeleine and her family stayed.
Since this investigation is still ongoing, they have yet to release more details than that to the public.
Madeleine’s room is completely untouched back in her family home, as her parents still think it’s possible she could come home one day.
On May 12th, 2019, it was Madeleine’s birthday. She would have been 16-years-old, or perhaps she currently is that age and alive out there somewhere.
Kate left Madeleine a 16th birthday card, along with a present, in her room for her to hopefully one day be able to open.
Next, Inside The Disappearance Of Natalee Holloway And Everything You Need To Know About This Beautiful American Teenager Who Vanished While On Vacation
14 years ago, Natalee Holloway went missing while on vacation in the Carribean. Back in May of 2005, Natalee had just graduated from high school.
She was 18-years-old. She was an excellent student: part of the National Honor Society and she also was very involved in the school’s dance team.
Natalee dreamed of being a doctor and had been accepted into the University of Alabama to study pre-med on a full ride scholarship.
However, her dreams were tragically cut short before she could make it there. She would never return home from her vacation celebration.
Natalee’s strange disappearance made international headlines. There was even a movie made about her in 2009.
We’re all still left with more questions than answers about what really happened to this beautiful American teenager who vanished while on vacation, but here is everything you need to know, below.
Facebook; pictured above Natalee smiles big while wearing a sequined outfit
Natalee was born in Clinton, Mississippi, along with her younger brother Matthew. After their parents divorced, their mom Beth raised them alone before remarrying a well-known businessman from Alabama. Beth moved her children to Mountain Brook, Alabama to live with her and her new husband, George Twitty.
Mountain Brook is located just outside Birmingham and is well known for being an affluent and safe area to live. Natalee attended the local school district, where Beth worked and graduated with honors from Mountain Brook High School.
Wikipedia; pictured above is Natalee’s senior photo from her yearbook
Natalee and 124 of her fellow classmates decided to take a trip to celebrate their graduation from high school. So, they took a trip to Aruba for a five-day vacation and left on Thursday, May 26th, 2005.
They had seven adult chaperones with them on the trip, and nobody suspected anything would go wrong with several reliable adults to help supervise so many 18-year-olds (and a handful of 17-year-olds).
Bob Plummer, a teacher at the high school, went on the trip as a chaperone and he later told the media that all of the chaperones met with every single student every single day to check in and make sure they were all ok.
The organizer of the trip, Jodi Bearman, later stated that the job of the chaperones though was not to keep up with every single move each student made. How could 7 adults stay on top of nearly 130 students at all times? It simply wasn’t possible. Given that pretty much all of the students were legally adults, it was up to them to make their own choices.
Gerold Dompig, the Police Commissioner who was in charge of the investigation from 2005 to 2006, said in a statement that the students on the trip spent their time engaging in:
Facebook; Natalee is pictured above in a candid moment smiling wide
“Wild partying, a lot of drinking, lots of room switching every night. We know the Holiday Inn told them they weren’t welcome next year. Natalee, we know, she drank all day every day. We have statements she started every morning with cocktails—so much drinking that Natalee didn’t show up for breakfast two mornings.”
Two of Natalee’s friends and classmates on the trip, Claire Fierman and Liz Cain, said that Natalee really did drink excessively every day. On the last day of the trip, Monday, May 30th, around 1:30 in the morning was the last time anyone saw Natalee again.
Classmates of Natalee’s say that they saw her leave a local bar and get into a silver car with several young men, but these men were not people they knew. They were not people they had gone to school with.
Facebook; in the photo above Natalee smiles next to her mom while wearing her cap and gown from graduation
Later that day, Natalee was supposed to be on a flight back home to Alabama. She never showed up at the airport, though. She never checked into her flight.
She never got onto the bus that was scheduled to take her and her classmates back to the airport. And that was when the chaperones knew something was wrong. She was the only student to not be there ready for the trip home.
Natalee’s luggage was fully packed back in her room at the Holiday Inn and her cellphone and passport were found along with her belongings. The chaperones talked to Natalee’s roommates and brought her stuff to the hotel lobby, still hoping she would just show up late.
Nobody could find Natalee, but they did find her things packed and ready in her hotel room…
Natalee never showed up. As soon as Natalee’s mom Beth was alerted to the fact that nobody had seen Natalee and she missed her flight home, she flew down to Aruba with Natalee’s stepdad on a private jet.
Beth, Natalee’s mom, immediately flew down to Aruba with Natalee’s stepdad as soon as she got the news that her daughter had disappeared on her trip
Beth proceeded to stay at the Holiday Inn, in the very same room Natalee had stayed in that week. 4 hours after Beth arrived in Aruba, she met with the Aruban police. And she had the name of the last person Natalee was seen with: 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot.
Joran was Dutch, and an honors student himself. He was going to school at the International School of Aruba and also living on the island. How did Beth have his name?
The Holiday Inn’s night manager had recognized Joran on the hotel’s surveillance camera footage. Apparently, Joran was well known to hang out near the hotel picking up tourists. Beth and her husband proceeded to go to Joran’s home with two police officers. And when they knocked on the door, Joran was home. He also had a friend over, Deepak Kalpoe, who was in the car with him the night he was seen with Natalee.
When he was asked about Natalee and where she was, Joran immediately denied knowing her. He then decided to change his story.
Facebook; Natalee beams in the photo above
Joran said that he and Deepak took Natalee in the car to Arashi Beach to an area known as California Lighthouse. They claimed that Natalee wanted to see some sharks, which is why they brought her there.
Joran then said that he and Deepak dropped Natalee back off at the Holiday Inn at 2 in the morning. As she got out of the car, she fell to the ground, and he saw a man dressed as a security guard come over to her. Joran admitted he isn’t sure what happened next because he drove off.
Pictured above is a poster giving information on Natalee in the hopes of locating her
Aruban authorities wasted no time beginning to look for Natalee. There were even hundreds of volunteers from Aruba and America that helped locate her, and Dutch marines joined in as well. They combed the shorelines. They searched the hotel, and the room Natalee stayed in.
They looked through Deepak’s car, and even found something they thought was blood…but after they tested it but it came back as another substance.
They checked security cameras in the Holiday Inn’s lobby, but Natalee was not on any of them. It turned out she was able to get to her room through another entrance and didn’t have to go that way.
Over $3 million dollars ended up being spent on the hunt for Natalee, or her body, but nothing turned up. She had truly vanished into thin air. Without a trace.
In a later interview with Dateline, Beth said that as soon as she got the phone call saying Natalee wasn’t on her flight, “I knew instantly when I received that call that just from Natalee’s history and character and just her record, I knew instantly that she’d either been kidnapped or murdered. There was no hesitation. Absolutely none. Absolutely none.”
And then on June 5th, it looked like the police had found several suspects. They arrested Abraham Jones and Nick John. The two men both worked as security guards at a nearby hotel that had been closed for renovations at the time Natalee disappeared.
Wikimedia Commons; pictured above is a search party for Natalee in front of the California Lighthouse in Aruba
Abraham and Nick were arrested on the suspicion of kidnapping and murder. Given that Joran and Deepak both said they saw a security guard approach Natalee, the police figured they were onto something making the arrests. They were likely suspects.
Unlike in America, in Aruba, the police are able to arrest someone if they seriously suspect they are involved in a crime. Several days later, on June 9th, they made several more arrests.
Aruba Police Force; pictured above is Joran van der Sloot’s mugshot from when he was first arrested by the police
This time, the police arrested Joran and his friend Deepak, along with Deepak’s brother, who was also there the last night Natalee was seen.
The police had been monitoring the emails, phone calls, and texts messages of the three young men, and they had been keeping close tabs on their whereabouts too. Natalee’s family thought the case was now closed.
Both of the security guards were then released on June 18th. One of the men said that Deepak’s brother had told him they dropped Joran and Natalee off at a beach. They never took her back to the Holiday Inn. That beach was searched, but Natalee wasn’t found there.
The police then arrested Joran’s father and a local DJ, but later released the two of them. Now, Natalee’s family was offering a million dollar reward for any information leading to her discovery.
Facebook; Natalee is pictured above on the far left with some of her friends while at the beach
Weeks started to fly by, and it seemed like Natalee would never be found. It now seemed like this case was not really closed after all…
And then, the months started to fly by. 10 months after Natalee went missing, in March of 2006, witnesses came forward to Aruba police saying they saw Natalee drinking wildly. They also said she had drugs on her.
Wikimedia Commons; pictured above is Carlos’n Charlie’s, the place Natalee was last seen before getting into a car with Joran and his friends
Aruba’s Deputy Chief of Police, Gerald Dompig, said to 48 Hours Mystery that “We feel strongly that she probably went into shock or something happened to her system with all the alcohol—maybe on top of that, other drugs, which either she took or they gave her— and that she… just collapsed.”
The police sincerely believed Natalee was no longer alive at this point in time. They still never gave up looking for her though. While the search continued for Natalee, Joran changed his story to the police several times. He was also arrested and then released by the police several times, as they didn’t have enough evidence to hold him.
Joran decided to travel the world. He was happy to have been made famous by all the attention Natalee’s case was getting, and he openly talked to the media.
He even did an interview with Peter de Vries, a crime reporter, in 2008, which ended with Joran throwing wine on him when asked why the public should believe anything that came out of his mouth.
Peter managed to get Joran on a hidden camera admitting to a friend that slept with Natalee and she became unconscious. “All of a sudden, what she did was like in a movie,” Joran said in the video.
FBI; pictured above is a photo of Natalee the FBI circulated to the public in hopes of finding her
“She was shaking, it was awful… I prodded her, there was nothing.” He then went on to say on camera that he had a friend of his take out his boat and dump Natalee’s body in the water. After this video was made public, Joran phoned up another media outlet saying that he only told Peter what he thought he wanted him to say.
Regardless, Joran was definitely looking like the one who had everything to do with Natalee’s disappearance. In early 2010, Joran’s dad suddenly died of a heart attack, and he then reached out to Natalee’s family.
He sent an email to her family’s attorney saying, “I want to come clean. My father’s dead now. I have nothing to hide. I want to help Natalee’s family, but at a price, you know, for a quarter million dollars…I will tell you what happened to Natalee, where she is now so you can help Beth bring her home.”
Natalee’s family attorney flew back to Aruba after Joran reached out to him saying he will give him information in exchange for money
John Kelly, the attorney for Natalee’s family, flew to Aruba to meet with Joran. He agreed to give him $25,000 in exchange for the information he had, but not before alerting the FBI that Joran was trying to extort them.
The FBI worked with John to get Joran the money, so that way they could catch him committing wire fraud and arrest him for something. After John gave Joran the $25,000, Joran told him to go to a house located near the Aruba Racquet Club.
Joran told him that Natalee’s remains were inside the foundation of the house, which had been poured pretty recently.
Joran also told John that he had gotten mad at Natalee and hit her in the back of the head, and she ended up bleeding to death. He said he then asked his dad to help hide her body on the beach, but they later moved her to the foundation of the home.
Unfortunately, Joran was not arrested for wire fraud. Authorities also said Joran’s story about hiding Natalee’s body wasn’t credible, so they couldn’t arrest him for that. To top it all off, the house he claimed he hid her in was not under construction in recent years, so there was no way she was inside the foundation.
Facebook; Natalee is pictured above sitting down on a chair with a big smile on her face
John tried to keep in touch with Joran despite all of this, and he eventually convinced him to turn himself in. Instead, Joran took a flight to Peru and ended up murdering a young college student…
Joran and Stephany played poker together at a casino in Peru, which is where they met
21-year-old Stephany Flores met Joran at a local casino, and they played poker with one another for a few hours. She then cashed in a few of her chips before she followed Joran back to his room at the hotel he was staying at.
The next morning around 9 a.m. Joran left and was seen alone on security footage. Stephany was found in his room. She was dead. Stephany had been beaten so badly her neck had snapped in the process.
That’s what Joran was capable of doing. When the police finally caught up with him, he claimed Stephany was online looking up information on Natalee’s disappearance, so he killed her in a fit of rage. A psychological evaluation performed on Joran states that “He reflects a certain dominance over the opposite sex. He doesn’t value the female role.”
Joran surprisingly pleaded guilty to murdering Stephany and claimed he did it because he was undergoing “extreme psychological trauma” after the investigation into Natalee’s disappearance. He is currently serving a 28 1/2 year sentence in jail down in Peru.
Enrique Flores; pictured above is Stephany Flores, who was murdered by Joran
As for Natalee? She has yet to get the kind of justice Stephany did, and Joran has yet to be charged with her disappearance due to lack of evidence. He also has not told the police where she really is. We only hope he’s sitting in jail reflecting on the terrible things he has done, and that he will eventually give Natalee’s family the truth they deserve about the last night she was seen alive.
Wikimedia Commons; pictured above, a young woman signs a memorial wall erected in honor of Natalee
Before She Was Murdered By Mom’s Boyfriend, This Teen Texted “He’s In My Room”
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 showed 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
And if you take a look at Riley’s own social media, her posts became increasingly dark leading up to her disappearance, which is deeply different from what she normally posts.
Happy photos with her family and Haydn, positive quotes and messages; that’s what normally appears on Riley’s social media.
Instagram; Riley snaps a photo in a bathroom mirror of herself wearing a sweatshirt and jeans
Right before Riley went missing, she snapped a few photos she posted with captions like, “You’re like a penny, your practically worthless, no one wants you, you’re almost always in a dirty place, you’re two-faced, you don’t shine, and your value is very very low” and “smile through the pain.”
Going from bubbly and happy to dark and dismal, people started to think maybe she did perhaps run off.
That wouldn’t be like her, but then again her recent posts were nothing like her…
Instagram; Riley smiles with a dog filter overlaying her face in the above photo
But none of her social media accounts had been updated since she went missing. And there was no activity on her cell phone either.
Days went by and still, nothing. Authorities and volunteers continued to desperately search for her.
Instagram; Riley crosses her arms over her head in the photo pictured above
Local ponds and lakes, wooded areas, abandoned buildings, uninhabited areas, abandoned cars, backyards, underpasses…everything anyone could think of was searched.
Authorities and Riley’s family urged the public to not just be on the lookout for a blonde 15-year-old teenager…they suspected Riley very well could have been adducted and forced to dye her hair another color.
And then, authorities turned their suspicions closer to home. Inside Riley’s mom Chantel’s home, to be exact.
Chantel was dating a 41-year-old man named Andy J. McCauley. The initial statement Andy gave to the police wasn’t adding up, after all. Video surveillance and eyewitness accounts ended up helping the police to uncover he was anything but honest about the day Riley disappeared.
Instagram; Riley poses in a mirror and snaps a photo of herself at a hotel on a trip
Andy told authorities that he left his job at 9 a.m. the day Riley disappeared so that he could go back to the house to get drugs. He said he was only out of work for 2 hours before returning from his trip.
Video surveillance proved that he was not telling the truth and that Andy had left work for far more than 2 hours that fateful day. He was also caught on camera driving a different route to the house than the one he told authorities he had taken.
Now, why would he lie about all of this? What did Andy have to hide?
Instagram; Riley smiles and puts her head on her hand in the photo above
Authorities uncovered that Riley had sent some chilling texts to Haydn the night before she vanished. “Andy’s in my room,” she texted him at 11:01 p.m. on the evening of May 7th.
Just 12 minutes after Riley sent Haydn that first crazy text, she sent a second, and it would be the last text message she ever sent.
“I’m scared, babe,” Riley wrote to him.
Andy was on authorities’ radar the day Riley was reported missing by her mom, but this is what sent their suspicions over the edge.
Riley was finally found, on May 16th, 8 days after she had initially gone missing. Located high up on a very steep cliff, there she was.
Instagram; Riley poses in the above photo with her glasses on, which she captioned “Although you may think I’m weird…I assure you, I am”
Cadaver dogs had located Riley, and she was in such a terrible state of decomposition that the medical examiner couldn’t exactly determine how Riley had died. It could be many months before Riley’s true cause of death can be uncovered, and we may never know what happened to her.
Instagram; Riley smiles and snaps a selfie in the photo above
Cadaver dogs also helped pin what happened to Riley on Andy. They discovered the signs of a dead body in the bed of Andy’s truck. In addition to this, drywall mud and sheet metal screws were found on Riley’s body and also found in Andy’s truck and toolbelt from work.
Authorities then revealed that Andy had called Riley 3 times from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. before she disappeared. The motive for why Andy did this is still completely unknown at this time, but he was arrested right after Riley’s remains were discovered and is police custody.
He is not eligible for bail and has not pleaded to the charges against him yet. Andy is being charged with Riley’s murder.
Riley’s dance teacher Holli McCumbee said to WDTV that Riley “was a ray of sunshine.”
Instagram; Riley sits on the floor of her bedroom in the above photo
“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.”
Twitter; pictured above is Andy’s mugshot, along with a headline about his arrest for Riley’s murder
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