Overview of Beatrice Riley
Beatrice Anderson Riley was a quiet, faithful, kind young woman whose life was taken far too soon.
Beatrice was described as being active in her local church, a true introvert who never caused any trouble, and a very fine young lady. Beatrice had recently married the love of her life, Arthur. She graduated from Benedict College in 1970 with dreams of working in social services and had started her first career only months before her death.
“She was a faithful going Christian woman. Motherly like to me when I was growing up.” - Cedric Anderson, Beatrice’s brother.
Beatrice was last seen on the night of March 12, 1972.
She was last seen by her husband, Arthur, at their home in Columbia, SC before he left for work around 11:00 pm. When he returned home from work the following morning, March 13, around 10:00 am, Beatrice was nowhere to be found. Shortly after, Arthur contacted local authorities and filed a missing persons report. He added in the report that the only things missing from their home were Beatrice’s slippers, night gown, glasses, and house keys.
“She had no chance to have a family. No chance to further her career and job she had just started months before. She didn’t even get the chance to have her first wedding anniversary.” - Senior Investigator, Dottie Cronise.
Exactly two weeks later, Beatrice’s body was found.
On March 26, 1972, exactly two weeks to the day of her disappearance, Beatrice’s body was found in a wooded area by a man and his dog, only 30 years off of Atlas Way in Columbia, SC. Authorities are able to determine that she had died from several blows to the head, face, and body. Shortly after her body was found, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) joined the Richland County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation, hoping to assist in the resolution of Beatrice’s case.
“Hopefully folks will look at this from a personal perspective and not say ‘Oh this is just somebody else with a cold case.’ This is personal. She has a name, Beatrice Riley.” - Senior Investigator, Dottie Cronise.
Through their investigation, authorities determined that someone likely abducted Beatrice from her home shortly after her husband left for work. They also believe this individual was likely someone Beatrice knew.
“It was somebody she knew. She would have never opened the door to someone she didn’t know” - Dorothy Riley, Beatrice’s mother-in-law.
Where the case stands today.
"To keep her memory alive, the only thing we can do is don't give up. Don't ever give up.” - Cedric Anderson, Beatrice’s brother.
This year marked 50 years since Beatrice’s death, which was recognized by a press conference held by authorities hoping to bring new life to her case. Unfortunately, her case remains unsolved and authorities are still searching for the one piece of information which will solve her case, the second oldest cold case in Richland County history. If you have any information, please contact the Richland County Sheriff's Department at (803) 518-0957 or Midlands Crime Stoppers at (888) CRIME-SC (274-6372).
"This might be 50 years old but that doesn't mean they are going to get away. They may get by but they'll never get away, because what goes around comes around." - Cedric Anderson, Beatrice’s brother.