WAGENER, S.C. (WJBF) — A man suspected in the disappearance of a local woman is now charged with her murder.
“She’s infamous for having a pink Christmas tree. So when I put up my tree this year, and it’s white, the seven year old, she said, no, my mom always puts up a pink Christmas tree,” Shadira Smothers told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk about Krystal Anderson. The mother of four has been missing from Wagener since August 2022.
“So they don’t really know as much as we know at this point. They just know that their mom is not here for birthdays, Christmas, or Thanksgiving. They just know she’s not here,” she added.
Investigators say she was with her partner Tony Lee Berry when she disappeared. “She has a seven year old child with him, so you would never think that someone would hurt the mother of their child. So I feel very betrayed,” Smothers said.
Berry was captured at a Lexington County hotel in October and charged with kidnapping. “He’s still not speaking. He wouldn’t even look at us in court. He said nothing,” she recalled.
Now additional warrants for murder and arson after authorities found a burned car in Newberry County. “Every bit of faith is gone, so, you know, we just have to start moving forward and trying to seek closure at this point,” Smothers said.
Berry is being held at the Aiken County Detention Center. The Sheriff’s Office told NewsChannel 6 it’s working to bring Krystal’s body home. The news a bittersweet blessing for Anderson’s family during the holiday season. “She always dressed them alike for the holidays. So having them all wear their matching pajamas just like she did. That’s what we’re gonna do,” she added.