‘I pray that I can keep my promise’: Missing mom’s family seeks answers

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:18 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re continuing to follow the story of Krystal Anderson and her family’s search for the Aiken County mother.

Her boyfriend of seven years is now behind bars without bond. We sat down with Anderson’s sister Tuesday to take an inside look at their life over the last six weeks.

The family tells us it’s been a nightmare. October is a big birthday month for the family. Anderson’s mother’s birthday is the fourth, her two sons have one later in the month, and Anderson’s is on the 22nd.

The children keep asking if they will be able to spend their mother’s birthday with her. While Berry is behind bars, Anderson’s sister says the pain extends even deeper.

“I feel hurt. I feel very overwhelmed. But I know I have to keep going every single day,” Shadria Smothers, Anderson’s sister.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into nearly two months with no sign of her sister.

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Even with her accused kidnapper behind bars, the family still has a request for Aiken County law enforcement.

“Don’t keep us in the dark. We’ve suffered enough to this investigation,” she said.

Berry was arrested on Sept. 28. Something the family thought they would hear from law enforcement.

“I believe it was you that told me. It was someone from the new station that had told me, but that’s how I found out about Tony’s arrest. I just felt like it was unfair,” she said.

Officers in Lexington County arrested Berry just miles away from where the kids live.

“To hear that this man was right in Columbia, where we resided, where we’ve been laying our heads, where the children play outside, where family members reside, it’s just scary to know that he was right there in Columbia this whole time,” said Smothers.

As the weeks pass, Anderson’s children are asking more questions.

“These children know there’s something wrong, and yes they are asking. Even the youngest asked to speak to Tony. She doesn’t understand why she can’t speak to her father whom she’s used to speaking to,” she said.

All of it is taking a toll on the family. Smothers has left two jobs on hold to take care of the children and her mother who has a brain aneurysm.

“It’s hard to see my mother hurting every day. It’s hard for her to ask me to promise her that I’m gonna bring Krystal home. I do it because I don’t know what else to say. I just pray that I can keep my promise to her. That’s what I do. I pray that I can keep my promise,” she said.

Smothers says she never wants to take away from the support system that has come from family, friends, siblings, their private investigator, and many others who help them face each day.

If you know anything about where she might be, call Aiken County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 642-1761.