Details emerge on arrest of missing woman’s boyfriend

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 11:16 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2022 at 10:20 AM EDT
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WAGENER, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - We have new details on the arrest of the boyfriend of an Aiken County woman who’s been missing for 40 days.

Tony Berry was arrested Wednesday night at the Executive Inn at 1107 Harbor Drive in West Columbia.

He was found based on information that led authorities to the hotel after an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday.

After initially being held in Lexington County jail, he was transferred to Aiken County, where he was held in jail on a kidnapping charge.

EARLIER COVERAGE:

Krystal C. Anderson was last seen outside her home on Aug. 20 and was reported missing by her family on Aug. 23.

Since the start of the investigation by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, deputies believed she had been in the company of Berry, 49, at her home on Seivern Road in Wagener.

Results of the investigation led investigators to obtain an arrest warrant for Berry on Wednesday.

“When this all started, he was listed as a missing person, as well,” Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eric Abdullah said.

That was earlier in the investigation, and Berry came in on Sept. 6 to let deputies know he wasn’t actually missing.

He also wasn’t considered a suspect at that time.

From left: Krystal Anderson and Tony Berry
From left: Krystal Anderson and Tony Berry(Contributed)

“He sat down with investigators during that time, so obviously, you know, we followed every lead,” Abdullah said. “Clues have come together, all the facts have come together and linked to where we were able to show that we had sufficient probable cause to have an arrest warrant issued.”

Abdullah summed it up this way: “From that time, things, you know, took a different turn. The nature of our investigation just continued to progress. When we met with him, we weren’t where we are today.”

Anderson’s family, meanwhile, was frustrated with what they considered slow progress on the case. So they hired a private investigator.

When the family sat down with us five weeks ago, the private investigator received a call during our interview about a burned car.

The private investigator said it could be related to Anderson.

We asked Abdullah if authorities were able to uncover a burning car.

“Not here in Aiken County. That was something that is a connection, but it was in another county,” he said.

From the start, Anderson’s family always thought Berry, her boyfriend of eight years, could be responsible.

“I contacted Mr. Berry, Tony Berry. I stated to him and asked him when was the last time he saw my sister,” said Shadira Smothers, Anderson’s sister.

He told her the last time he saw her was on Aug. 20, and then he disappeared.

Aiken County investigators say they’ve tried to keep emotions out of this to build their case.

“We can’t rely on emotions. We can’t rely on speculations,” Abdullah said. “We have to rely on facts because it’s facts that have to be presented when this case goes to adjudication.”