Suspect charged with murdering Aiken County missing mom
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The family of a missing mom from Aiken County may start to get some closure.
In court on Monday, they learned the state was moving forward on murder and arson charges in connection with her case, in addition to kidnapping. The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday the murder charge had been filed.
In August, Krystal Anderson was reported missing from her home in Aiken County. Since then, her boyfriend, Tony Berry, was arrested and charged with her disappearance.
The judge denied Berry’s bond again.
We spoke to Anderson’s sister as she left the courtroom. It was an answer to a prayer for Anderson’s family, but it was bittersweet because it was the first time they heard the word “murder,” and knew she wouldn’t be home for Christmas.
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“The prosecutor today said that it was no secret that they are pursuing a murder charge. It was a secret to us because I’d never heard it, but now it’s serious. It’s more serious, whatever information they have,” said Shadira Smothers, Anderson’s sister.
It’s been 114 days since Anderson’s family last saw her, and Monday was the first day hope began to fade.
“I think today it made me lose the faith that I’ve been trying to hold on to. It broke my spirit really bad. And it was just hard to walk in and hear that. We’ve been preparing ourselves, but you still want to have that faith. But hearing it today, it just, it made me realize that you know, we were probably looking at the worse,” said Smothers.
The family came face to face with Anderson’s accused kidnapper Berry.
“He didn’t look at us. And I would assume he can’t because he knows the truth,” Smothers said.
Birthdays, holidays, and soon Christmas will go by with a hole in their family.
“I just feel like the audacity for him to ask for a bond. I just was so furious, because I don’t feel like he deserves to spend time with his family or anyone for the holidays, because we don’t have our family member. I don’t have my sister to spend the holidays with her,” said Smothers.
She has stepped into the role of mother for the daughter Berry and Anderson share.
“Sadly, she asked a question that I didn’t even know how to answer, and that’s what really kind of broke me down the first day of school. She asked for a new dad. And I didn’t know how to respond to that,” she said.
The arson charge is connected to a car deputies found burned in Newberry County related to the case.
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