Late Columbia woman’s brother asking for answers in 50-year-old cold case

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Fifty years and no solution.

That is the reality one late Columbia woman’s family has faced for decades.

“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,” said Dottie Cronise, Richland County Sheriff’s Department senior investigator.

Beatrice Anderson Riley was abducted from her Harlem Street home in March of 1972. Her body was found a couple weeks later on Atlas Road.

“That ain’t no easy pill to swallow. That was a hard struggle. That was my only sister,” said Cedric Anderson, Beatrice’s brother.

The coroner determined that the cause of death was a blow to the back of the head. However, investigators say there was no forced entry into her home and no motive that they know of so far.

“During the initial investigation, they had interviewed over 70 people. Those persons were cleared either through the interview process or polygraph,” Cronise said. “Then, they were left with no more leads.”

“It was somebody she knew. I believe,” said Anderson said.

But still no answers. 

The department’s senior investigator and Riley’s brother ask for those in the community who might know something to step forward to find who killed Beatrice.

“This might be 50 years, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to get away. They may get by but they’ll never get away,” Anderson said. “What goes around, comes around. Whoever this person is may fool me and my family, but you can never fool God.”

 “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,” Cronise concluded.

Categories: Local News, Richland